Kim Jong Un leaves China after talks with Xi on Trump sanctions

Kim Jong Un leaves China after talks with Xi on Trump sanctions

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

Kim's special train departed Beijing Wednesday afternoon and headed towards the northeast border, where it will enter North Korea early Thursday morning.

Kim reportedly met Chinese President Xi Jinping during his trip, which may have been a precursor to a second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.

North Korea will "make efforts for the second summit between (North Korean) and US leaders to achieve results that will be welcomed by the worldwide community", Kim was quoted as saying by China's official Xinhua News Agency.

Kim and Xi held talks Tuesday - believed to be Kim's birthday - shortly after the North Korean leader arrived in Beijing.

In a report also on Thursday, North Korea's state media KCNA said that Kim and Xi had in-depth discussions on how to "jointly study and steer" the situation on the Korean Peninsula and denuclearisation talks.

Kim made the promise during his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Tuesday, according to Xinhua News Agency.

North Korea wants relief from the multiple sets of sanctions imposed on it over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs, while the United States wants them to remain in place until it gives up its arms - something Pyongyang has made no public promise to do.

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Analysts here said the North Korean leader is seeking to strengthen its negotiating position by aligning the country and China ahead of his meeting with Trump.

The North Korean leader visited China at Xi's invitation for the fourth time in less than a year.

At Tuesday's daily Foreign Ministry briefing, spokesman Lu Kang said details of Kim's visit would be released "in due course". "If he wants to shift his focus to the development of the economy, he needs China's cooperation", said Lu Chao, a North Korea expert at China's Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences. "China has actually been a good partner in our efforts to reduce the risk to the world from North Korea's nuclear capability; I expect they will continue to do so". Kim was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, the news agency said.

Xinhua also said that Kim and Xi agreed to make efforts for continuous "new development", a "political settlement process of the Korean Peninsula" and "more benefits" for the people of the two countries and that they would contribute to peace and stability, prosperity and development of the region and beyond.

Relations between China and North Korea had deteriorated in recent years over Pyongyang's nuclear activities, but Mr Kim has made sure to keep Mr Xi informed about his dealings with the US and South Korea, and ties appear to have warmed.

Trump said on Sunday that the United States and North Korea are negotiating the location for their next summit.

Kim's visit also came after he expressed frustration in his annual New Year's address over the lack of progress in negotiations with Washington since the Singapore summit with Trump in June, saying that if things don't improve - meaning that if sanctions relief and security guarantees aren't in the offing - the North might have to find "a new way" forward.

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