Kim Jong Un heads home via train af­ter two-day Bei­jing visit

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A spe­cial train be­lieved to be car­ry­ing Kim Jong Un de­parted Bei­jing on Wed­nes­day af­ter a two-day visit by the North Korean leader to the Chi­nese cap­i­tal. Kim could not be seen, but he was pre­sumed to be on board the long train as it crossed on el­e­vated tracks over a busy Bei­jing street and headed to­ward east­ern China and the bor­der with North Ko­rea.

Kim’s trip to China — his fourth in the past 10 months — is be­lieved to be an ef­fort to co­or­di­nate with his only ma­jor ally ahead of a pos­si­ble se­cond sum­mit with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. It comes af­ter U.S. and North Korean of­fi­cials are thought to have met in Viet­nam to dis­cuss the site of the sum­mit.

De­tails of his visit have not been re­leased, but Kim re­port­edly met with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping.

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

North Korean and Chi­nese state me­dia an­nounced his visit shortly in ad­vance of his ar­rival in Bei­jing, in a break with stan­dard pro­to­col dic­tat­ing such trips are only con­firmed af­ter they hap­pen. How­ever, nei­ther side has pro­vided de­tails of what he has done since ar­riv­ing aboard his per­sonal ar­mored train on Tues­day morn­ing.

Yon­hap said Kim met with Xi for about an hour on Tues­day and later at­tended a din­ner at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in cen­tral Bei­jing hosted by Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan. Kim was ac­com­pa­nied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, the news agency said.

At Tues­day’s daily For­eign Min­istry brief­ing, spokesman Lu Kang said de­tails of Kim’s visit would be re­leased “in due course.” He said Bei­jing re­mains sup­port­ive of ef­forts to end ten­sions over U.S. de­mands for a halt to North Ko­rea’s nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams. “We al­ways be­lieve that, as key par­ties to the Korean Penin­sula is­sue, it’s im­por­tant for the two sides to main­tain con­tact and we al­ways sup­port their dia­logue to achieve pos­i­tive out­comes,” Lu said.–

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