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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, in this picture released to Reuters on March 28, 2018. (Photo: Ju Peng/Xinhua via Reuters)

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearization and to meet U.S. officials, China said on Wednesday after his meeting with President Xi Jinping, who promised China would uphold friendship with its isolated neighbor.

After two days of speculation, China and North Korea both confirmed that Kim had traveled to Beijing and met Xi during what China called an unofficial visit from Sunday to Wednesday.

The visit was Kim’s first known trip outside North Korea since he assumed power in 2011 and is believed by analysts to serve as preparation for upcoming summits with South Korea and the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter he had received a message from Xi on Tuesday night that his meeting with Kim “went very well” and that Kim looked forward to meeting the U.S. president.

“Look forward to our meeting!” Trump wrote, while adding: “In the meantime, and unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!”

The White House said on Tuesday that North Korea’s denuclearization pledge was evidence that the U.S.-led pressure campaign to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons was working. (Reuters)

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