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After days of speculation, it has been confirmed that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un did pay a visit to Beijing.

Kim Jong-un was in Beijing, China and NK confirm

After days of speculation, it has been confirmed that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un did pay a visit to Beijing.

The visit, confirmed by China and North Korea, was Mr Kim's first known foreign trip since taking office in 2011.

He held "successful talks" with President Xi Jinping, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

China is North Korea's main economic ally and it was thought highly likely it would consult Beijing before planned summits with South Korea and the US.

Mr Kim is due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in late April, and US President Donald Trump in May.

The Beijing visit is considered a significant step in North Korea's preparation for the proposed talks.


What did the two leaders discuss?

Mr Kim arrived with his wife, Ri Sol-ju, by train on Sunday and left Beijing on Tuesday afternoon, according to reports.

During the visit, Mr Kim assured his Chinese counterpart he was committed to giving up his nuclear weapons, Xinhua reported, but with conditions.

"The issue of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realisation of peace," Mr Kim was reported saying.

The North's conditions include the removal of a US nuclear guarantee for South Korea, observers say.

North Korea's KCNA news agency called the visit "a milestone" in improving bilateral ties.

Mr Kim's arrival and departure were shrouded in secrecy. China said the visit was "unofficial" - so there was no announcement of it in advance, prompting speculation about who was on the train when it was spotted arriving.

Because of the visit's "unofficial" status, some of the normal protocols were not observed. For example no North Korean country flags were hung around the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square.

But it had most of the other trappings of a state visit, including an honour guard and banquet in the Great Hall.

How does the US view the meeting?


China briefed the Trump administration on Tuesday on the visit, Washington confirmed.
"We see this development as further evidence that our campaign of maximum pressure is creating the appropriate atmosphere for dialogue with North Korea," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Last month, Mr Trump accepted an unprecedented invitation to meet Mr Kim, after months of hostility and North Korean missile tests.

If the summit goes ahead, Mr Trump would become the first sitting US president to meet a North Korean leader.

He said on Wednesday that he is "looking forward" to the meeting.

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