NK leader makes third trip to China

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Kim's entourage for Tuesday's visit reportedly consists of two vehicles marked for North Korean leadership, and more than 10 sedans and minibuses.

In an unusual move, Chinese state media announced Kim's visit and said he would stay for two days.

In a formal letter, Kim notes that "Xi Jinping, assuming the heavy responsibility as the top leader of the party, state, and army, wisely led the struggle of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people to achieve the great prosperity of China".

Kim traveled to Beijing Tuesday to meet with President Xi Jinping in their first face-to-face meeting since the Singapore Summit; making the trip his third visit to China this year.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in China on Tuesday for a two-day visit, only one week after his summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore, global news media reported.

He negotiated details with North Korean counterparts for the summit last week on Singapore's Sentosa Island in which Trump and Kim met face-to-face for the first time.

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Kim "felt thanks for and highly praised China's promotion of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and its important role in protecting the peninsula's peace and stability", state broadcaster CCTV said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also visited Beijing last week during which China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke of "the importance of China being a constructive participant in the next steps".

This trip would also make Xi the foreign leader to have met with Kim most regularly, underlining the close historical relationship between China and North Korea.

Kim is visiting China and there is a reason for this, he said.

The White House has called for the North to take swift and clear disarmament measures before receiving any rewards, though Trump acknowledged at the summit that the meeting was "the beginning of an arduous process".

With testing halted, for now, and August's war games off, China may be willing to cut North Korea some slack.

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He has been expected to visit the country to brief Chinese President Xi Jinping on his meeting with the U.S. president.

Kim told Xi he hoped to work with China and other parties to push the peace process, Chinese state television said.

In return, Trump made the shock announcement that he would stop joint military drills with South Korea, long seen as a provocation by Pyongyang and Beijing. Previously China would only confirm Kim had visited after he had left the country. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who wrote on Twitter that Trump was being "truly delusional", noting that North Korea has "the same arsenal today as 48 hours ago". Analysts said Beijing appeared to be trying to normalize such visits.

The North Korean leader is expected to brief China's leadership on his talks with Mr Trump.

The decision to halt military exercises in South Korea has bewildered many current and former US defense officials, who only learned about it when Trump announced it in Singapore, after the summit with Kim.

"Although Kim was successful in solidifying his legitimacy to rule, he may not be totally happy with the result as there was no mention of easing the sanctions", he said, adding that Trump had not given up anything at a "practical level".

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Hours earlier on Monday evening Trump threatened to escalate a trade fight with China into an all-out trade war with further tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods.

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