Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Kim Jong-un meets Xi Jinping for third time

Kim Jong-un meets Xi Jinping for third time

On Sunday, Chinese state media reported Kim had sent Xi a congratulatory letter and a floral basket for his birthday.

Kim's visit beginning on Tuesday is the third trip he made to China in three months, and comes exactly a week after his historic meeting with the U.S. leader in Singapore on June 12.

White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, who led the US advance team for President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, is resigning, White House officials said on Tuesday.

The decision to halt military exercises in South Korea has bewildered many current and former USA defense officials, who only learned about it when Trump made his remarks.

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Beijing at a news conference with Foreign Minister Wang Yi that China "acknowledged that the sanctions regime that is in place today will remain in place until such time as that denuclearization is in fact complete".

"Also, our government hopes China will play a constructive role in resolving this problem - we hope Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit will contribute to that". Kim's previous travels to China were not announced or publicized until after he had left, and the visit had concluded.

He added that the frequency of Kim's visits was "unprecedented".

Analysis of ship-tracking data by NK News's sister site NK Pro has in the past few weeks highlighted multiple DPRK-linked ships arriving at ports in China built to handle bulk commodities like iron and coal, goods sanctioned under United Nations measures.

That follows a pledge made by Mr Trump at the Singapore summit.

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He added: "At some point there will be a reckoning: either with a cobbled-together Brexit deal or if the negotiations fail". That is a very serious betrayal, I would suggest, of one of the most well-respected and senior politicians in parliament .

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday there would be no changes to joint drill plans between the United States and Japan, both of which also engage in regular deterrence exercises against North Korea.

"The potential comprehensive trade war will make the cooperation between China and North Korea's nuclear issue more complicated", Cheng said.

North Korean state media had not mentioned Kim's visit by early evening.

The North's leader, who is believed to have landed in the Chinese capital Tuesday morning, was expected to head to the Great Hall of the People to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, though no official agenda was released. The agreement provided few details on how the US and North Korea will achieve these goals.

It was the first-ever summit between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

Officials here say his visit was expected to crystallise the next course of action by him to announce the denuclearisation process and further steps on the Korean peninsula.

The visit comes on the same day Washington and Seoul announced that they would suspend a joint military exercise in August, a move that will likely please the Chinese.

Beijing has repeatedly called for a "suspension for suspension" approach where the North would stop its nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the US and South Korea halting military exercises.

Mr Trump publicly said last week that he gave his "very direct number" to Mr Kim. It has not used language similar to the North in regards to a phased approach to denuclearization. However, Trump just imposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods and is proposing 10% tariffs on $200 billion more.

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