Kim Jong Un makes 4th trip to China, Chinese state media reports

08 January, 2019, 05:34 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • North's envoy in Italy vanishes-INSIDE

Mr Kim will be in the country 7-10 January with his wife Ri Sol-ju, North Korean news agency KCNA said.

The recent meeting between State Department officials and their North Korean counterparts took place in Hanoi because Vietnam has diplomatic relations with both Washington and Seoul, Reuters reported, citing a South Korean newspaper.

"Kim is eager to remind the Trump administration that he does have diplomatic and economic options besides what Washington and Seoul can offer", Harry J. Kazianis, Director of Defence Studies at USA -based Centre for the National Interest said in an e-mailed statement.

Dozens of security vehicles and officials blocked the roads around the train station in Dandong before the train passed, Yonhap reported.

South Korea's foreign ministry said it was aware of Kim's planned visit and hopes Kim's latest visit and summit with Mr. Xi would contribute to the shared "strategic goal" of achieving complete denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.

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"They do want to meet and we want to meet and we'll see what happens".

Mr Jo Song Gil, the 44-year-old who was until recently North Korea's acting ambassador to Italy, disappeared with his wife after leaving the embassy without notice in early November, South Korean lawmakers said last Thursday.

The latest letter from Kim came as denuclearization talks remain at an impasse and after the North Korean leader warned in a New Year's speech that Pyongyang may change its approach to the talks if Washington persists with sanctions.

But as global sanctions have increased over the past year, coal is one of the few local resources to which Kim can turn as he tries to make good on promises to improve life in a country notorious for limited electricity, analysts and defectors say.

Kim used a very distinctive armored train made especially for him on visits to China previous year.

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About 30,000 North Koreans have fled repression and poverty and settled in the capitalist South, mostly by secretly crossing over the increasingly porous border with China.

Still, the North Korean leader is already refraining from putting all of his eggs in one basket, saying in his New Year's address that, despite the stalled talks, he was willing to meet Trump again at any time to produce results "welcomed by the global community".

The United States has been pressing for North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons before any easing of economic pressure.

North Korea's state media described Thae as "human scum" after his defection and claimed he was trying to escape punishment for serious crimes.

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