North Korea's secret visit to Beijing

As Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping toasted each other in Beijing this week, no one doubted either man's dominance at home.

China, South Korea, Japan, and Russian Federation all now want closer relations with Pyongyang, because Kim piqued Trump's interest by saying "denuclearization". The mandatory and regular talk of their historical friendship, sealed in blood and forged through ideological union, has been as present as tradition commands in both Chinese and North Korean state media reports of the visit. Kim arrived in Beijing in an armored train.

Yang is set to meet the South Korean president Friday, apparently to brief Moon on the outcome of the China-North Korea summit.

While all eyes have been on Kim Jong-un's China visit and what would come out of it, the North Korean leader's wife Ri Sol-ju seems to have quietly stolen his thunder. Notably, it was also reported that Xi accepted Kim's invitation to visit Pyongyang in the near future.

"It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il", he said.

"We speak highly of this visit", Xi told Kim.

The Chinese leader said he was willing to maintain frequent contact with Kim "under the new circumstances". China has cooperated in applying sanctions to Kim's regime and would welcome a resumption of full trading relations. The Chinese envoy is also scheduled to meet the South Korean president on Friday.

Japan, an important USA ally, is reportedly concerned regarding Trump's outlook on the impending meeting (that is, if it actually takes place) and its potential traps.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency published Kim's personal letter to Xi, dated Wednesday, in which he said he was satisfied that the leaders confirmed their "unified opinions" on mutual issues.

Officials did it in part by scrubbing from the country's internet Chinese characters for "Kim Jong Un", "North Korea" and Kim's popular nicknames among Chinese, such as "Fatty Fatty", Business Insider reported.

China warned the United States on Thursday not to open Pandora's Box and spark a flurry of protectionist practices across the globe, even as Beijing pointed to U.S. goods that it could target in a deepening Sino-U.S. trade dispute.

Relations between the two countries have been strained after Beijing beefed up United Nations sanctions by blocking essential supplies like oil and coal following pressure from Trump. It also comes amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington over trade, with Trump announcing new tariffs on imported steel and aluminium from China earlier this month. Topics of discussion during their meeting included regional stability, relations between North Korea and China, and denuclearization.

Commentators in the South agreed that Kim Jong-un needed to fix relationships with his biggest ally before the planned US-ROK-DPRK summit. The sudden visit of Kim to Beijing and consultation with Xi Jinping are significant developments in the peace process. Beijing has openly admitted to repatriating more than 3,000 people "who had escaped overseas" since late 2012, Xinhua reports, although the US intelligence community believes China's strategies in Western nations often involves pushing the definitions of coercion and kidnapping.

  • Leroy Wright