Trump to discuss trade with China's Xi as talks continue

Trump to discuss trade with China's Xi as talks continue

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his second visit to China in as many months, visiting the port city of Dalian for another meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time).

The meeting between Kim and Trump would be a first between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader, offering a potential breakthrough in relations between the two adversaries.

Previous agreements over North Korea's nuclear program - including the 1994 Agreed Framework and the 2005 Joint Statement from the Six Party Talks - also called for phased, incremental steps for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program alongside sanctions relief and normalization of relations with the United States.

But that was also the case when Kim left North Korea for Beijing in an armored train to make his first foreign visit since taking power in 2011.

Trump, who announced that the plans for the upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had been finalized, said to "stay tuned" for any developments on the release of the U.S. citizens.

Donald Trump tweeted he would be speaking to Mr Xi today. It said a North Korean plane was seen parked at the city's airport. Pyongyang claims Kim himself is the driver of the current situation and the spokesman said the US should not to interpret Pyongyang's willingness to talk as a sign of weakness.

Some analysts, including David Lampton, professor and director of China Studies at Johns Hopkins - SAIS and the former president of the National Committee on US-China Relations, have said the close timing of the high-level bilateral talks is cause for optimism, but that Beijing will not likely concede on at least one important US demand. Chinese state media said Xi reiterated China's support for a U.S.

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The three still being held are Korean-American missionary Kim Dong Chul; Kim Sang-duk, who spent a month teaching at the foreign-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) before he was arrested in 2017, and Kim Hak Song, who also taught at PUST. His trip comes just days after North Korea expressed displeasure with Washington for comments suggesting that USA pressure had pushed Kim to the negotiating table.

China is North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic backer, but Beijing has been angered by Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and supported tough United Nations sanctions against its Cold War-era ally.

USA officials say Pompeo will also press North Korea for the release of three detained American citizens, whose imminent release Trump has been hinting at.

On North Korea, both sides reiterated the need to denuclearise the country.

The leaders met in person for the first time during a secret meeting in the Chinese capital of Beijing in late March, which was widely viewed as a sign of warming ties between the two fractious allies.

Posts about unusual traffic jams and security in Dalian popped up on Chinese social media.

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