- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 19, 2018

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un began a two-day visit Tuesday to Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to reports from China’s state-run media.

The agreement for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons likely topped the agenda. They were meeting just one week after President Trump and Mr. Kim committed to a denuclearization deal at a summit in Singapore.

In a rare public announcement of Mr. Kim’s visit to China, state-run CCTV aired footage of Mr. Kim and Mr. Xi at the Great Hall of the People.

The powwow highlighted stronger ties between the two leaders. China long has been the primary supporter of the reclusive communist regime in Pyongyang. The relationship between Mr. Xi and Mr. Kim, which appears to be growing stronger, will be pivotal for any deal to denuclearization.

The diplomatic dynamics also has been complicated by an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

The visit Tuesday was Mr. Kim’s third visit this year to China to meet with Mr. Xi.

China’s enforcement of economic sanctions on Pyongyang helped prod Mr. Kim to the negotiating table with Mr. Trump. But enforcement was loosed in recent weeks along China’s border with North Korea, an issue Mr. Trump addressed while in Singapore last week.

“President Xi of China has really closed up that border, maybe a little less so over the last couple of months, but that’s okay,” Mr. Trump said at a post-summit press conference. “I think over the last two months, the border is more open than it was when we first started. But that is what it is.”

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