Kim aims to 'achieve results' in second summit with Trump

Kim aims to 'achieve results' in second summit with Trump

Kim Jong Un's train has left Beijing after a two-day visit by the North Korean leader to the Chinese capital.

The remarks by Moon, who has sought to bridge the divide between the USA and North Korea, came about two hours after Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping issued statements expressing support for another meeting with Trump.

Mr Kim arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for a fourth visit to his country's sole major diplomatic friend, a trip seen as a strategy session ahead of his possible second meeting with Mr Trump on Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

His trip to Beijing has been shrouded in secrecy. Still, North Korean state media hinted at continued frustration with the US, saying the former Cold War allies discussed difficulties and concerns with the nuclear talks and improving relations with the U.S.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said Kim visited a technology development zone and spent around 20-30 minutes touring a factory run by famed traditional Chinese medicine maker Tong Ren Tang.

Earlier Wednesday, Mr. Kim's motorcade headed out to an unannounced destination and returned about an hour later.

But Chinese officials also likely want to impress on Kim - who has so far pursued only limited reforms to his statist economy - the benefits the giant Communist country has enjoyed in its transformation from an impoverished nation to economic powerhouse.

"For North Korea itself, 2019 is his strategic turning point".

"China will also introduce some successful experiences to Kim to help North Korea achieve economic transformation and realise the denuclearisation of the peninsula as soon as possible", Lu told AFP.

"The political settlement of the peninsula issue faces a rare historic opportunity", Mr Xi said.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, asked during a daily briefing whether there was a connection between Kim's visit and the possibility of another meeting between Kim and Trump, said China believed contact between the United States and North Korea was important.

"Kim's China visit is a sign that a second summit between Trump and Kim is nearing", Moon said during an annual news conference in Seoul to start the year.

More news: Oil prices rise on trade talk optimism, OPEC cuts

"In fact, during his New Year's Day speech, Kim's "new way" that he referred to may well have been a veiled threat to move closer to Beijing".

But his looming summit with Mr Trump is a pressing issue.

China also wants the sanctions relaxed and Xi said he "hopes that the DPRK and the United States will meet each other halfway" according to China's state news agency Xinhua, using the initials of the North's official name.

North Korea has carried out 6 nuclear blasts and launched missiles capable of reaching the whole of the United States, but has carried out no such tests for more than a year and blew up the entrances to a nuclear testing ground it said it no longer needed.

While Mr. Trump says he considers Xi key to enticing Kim into taking concrete steps toward denuclearization, the president's own relationship with his Chinese counterpart has frayed over the U.S.

South Korea's Yonhap, without identifying its sources, said the two leaders held talks for an hour in which they discussed the second US-North Korea summit and strengthening bilateral ties.

Kim and Trump pledged to work towards denuclearisation at their landmark June summit in Singapore, but the agreement was short on specifics.

Kim travelled to China - his most important security and trade partner - before meetings a year ago with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Kim's visit coincided with trade talks between Chinese and United States officials in Beijing.

But Mr Hua said Mr Kim's visit would have a "limited" effect on the trade negotiations.

"The US is translating Kim's trip to China as (part of) a war of nerves. The weight of North Korea is limited and can not play a decisive role", he said.

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