Chinese state media: President Xi Jinping holds talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

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The North  Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited China from Sunday to Wednesday on an unofficial visit, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.
   
Kim held talks with Xi Jinping in Beijing during the visit, during which the Chinese president hosted a banquet to welcome him and his wife Ri Sol Ju, Xinhua said.
   
“I have had successful talks with General Secretary Xi Jinping on developing relations between the two parties and the two countries, our respective domestic situation, maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and other issues,” Kim said at the banquet.
   
The Xinhua report did not say if the two sides had discussed North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, which has led to UN sanctions, backed by China, which has long been Pyongyang’s closest supporter. However, ties have become strained after Beijing backed UN sanctions against North Korea for its missile program.

Pre-talk talks
Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said recently they plan to meet at a summit in April for only the third meeting between leaders from both Koreas since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Officials from North and South will meet on March 29 to lay the groundwork for an April summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Seoul said.

The agreement to hold the summit came amid thawing tensions that started before the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in early February.
   
 US President Donald Trump and Kim are also set to meet at a separate summit sometime before the end of May.
 jbh (AP, dpa, AFP)