China Scores a Coup By Meeting With Kim
After days of speculation, it has been confirmed that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un did pay a visit to Beijing.
He held "successful talks" with President Xi Jinping, China's Xinhua news agency reported.
China is North Korea's main economically and it was thought highly likely it would consult Beijing before planned summits with South Korea and the US.
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.
The report says, "The date for their meeting is still not set, but when President Donald Trump finally meets North Korea's Kim Jong Un, the specter of China will also be in the room, a potent signal to the American President that the young reclusive leader has support for his cause from the region's most formidable presence.
"Along with shoring up a rocky alliance, the two-day visit by Kim to Beijing was also designed to show Washington and Seoul that Kim wasn't without his own diplomatic arsenal as he attempts to push for sanctions relief and recognition of North Korea as a legitimate nuclear power."
Kim arrived with his wife, Ri Sol-ju, by train on Sunday and left Beijing on Tuesday afternoon, according to reports.
During the visit, 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," Kim was reported saying.