Kim Jong-un’s second secretive visit to China was confirmed on state TV’s main evening news bulletin in a seven-minute report.
This time Kim was welcomed by President Xi Jinping in the northeastern city of Dalian, close to the border with North Korea.
It’s not clear if Kim asked to come or was invited, but it happened just a few weeks before the North Korean leaders plan talks with US President Donald Trump.
Kim appeared to suggest the prospect of that get-together was being undermined by Trump.
He said if relative country stopped their hostile attitudes and threats, then there’s no need for North Korea to have nuclear weapons.
Kim’s powerful sister Kim Yo-jong accompanied her brother.
Her international profile continues to grow.
The Chinese side had thought hard about the backdrop they wanted for this visit，beyond these waters, the Korean Peninsula, Dalian offering a picturesque setting.
As the North’s only ally, Chinese leaders want to ensure they’re not sidelined in the future diplomacy over North Korea.
After a long strain in relations because of the North’s missile and nuclear bomb tests, the two sides are hugging again.
President Xi has accepted an invitation to visit North Korea possibly next month, so possibly before Kim scheduled meeting with Trump.
China didn’t have a seat at the recent historic summit between leaders of the two Koreas and it won’t be present at the Kim Trump summit either.
So President Xi wants to ensure that Kim’s priorities align with his.