International desk, Mar 28: At the invitation of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), paid an unofficial visit to China from Sunday to Wednesday.The visit, confirmed by China and North Korea, was Mr Kim’s first known foreign trip since taking office in 2011.
Mr Kim held “successful talks” with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing, China’s Xinhua news agency reports.
The visit is considered a significant step in North Korea’s preparation for agreed talks with South Korea and the United States. Mr Kim is due to meet President Donald Trump in May.
Analysts had predicted North Korean and Chinese leaders would be likely to meet before that summit goes ahead.
During the visit, Xi held talks with Kim at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan held a welcoming banquet for Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju and watched an art performance together.
Li Keqiang, Chinese premier and member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Wang Huning, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan attended related activities, respectively.
During the talks, Xi expressed warm welcome on behalf of the CPC Central Committee to Kim for his first visit to China.
Xi said he appreciated that Kim sent him a congratulatory message after the 19th CPC National Congress on his re-election as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and the assumption of office of chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission (CMC).
Xi was also grateful to Kim for congratulating him again several days ago immediately after he was re-elected China’s president and chairman of the CMC of the country.
Xi said Kim’s current visit to China, which came at a special time and was of great significance, fully embodied the great importance that Comrade Chairman and the WPK Central Committee have attached to the relations between the two countries and the two parties.
“We speak highly of this visit,” Xi told Kim.
For his part, Kim said a series of major and happy events have taken place consecutively in China recently, as the 19th CPC National Congress was held victoriously last year, and the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference were successfully held not long ago.
Kim said Comrade Xi Jinping enjoyed the support of the CPC and the people of the whole country, became the core of the leadership and was re-elected Chinese president and CMC chairman. He said it is his obligation to come to congratulate Xi in person, in line with the DPRK-China friendly tradition.
At present, the Korean Peninsula situation is developing rapidly and many important changes have taken place, Kim said, adding that he felt he should come in time to inform Comrade General Secretary Xi Jinping in person the situation out of comradeship and moral responsibility.
Xi said the China-DPRK traditional friendship, established and cultivated meticulously by the elder generations of leaders of both parties and both countries, was the precious wealth of both sides.
Sharing common ideals and beliefs as well as profound revolutionary friendship, the elder generations of leaders of the two countries trusted and supported each other, and wrote a fine story in the history of international relations, said Xi.
He said several generations of the leaders of China and the DPRK have maintained close exchanges and paid frequent calls on each other like relatives.