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China, North Korea: Xi and Kim Meet With the U.S. in Mind

Jun 20, 2019 | 21:06 GMT
Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are shown on a railway television monitor in Seoul, South Korea, on June 20, 2019.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are shown on a railway television monitor in Seoul, South Korea, on June 20. Xi's two-day trip to Pyongyang is meant to underscore China's traditional alliance with North Korea after a period of troubled relations.

(CHUNG SUNG-JUN/Getty Images)

As China's trade war with the United States shows no sign of abating, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in North Korea on June 20 for a two-day state visit -- the first by a Chinese premier in 14 years. Xi's visit with North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang comes a week before he is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at the June 28-29 G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. The crucial G-20 meeting will provide an opportunity for the world leaders to gauge a potential cease-fire in the U.S.-China trade war. The timing of Xi's visit to North Korea is key, however, because it also coincides with a prolonged impasse in nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington following the breakdown of Kim's February summit with Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam -- something Xi may seek to leverage in trade negotiations....

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