The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un , was on Monday and Tuesday in Beijing for a surprise visit in which he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, before the summits he has planned in the coming weeks with Donald Trump.
A visit that adds to the frantic diplomatic activity around those meetings that are promised historical and that seals the return to normality of the cold relations between Beijing and Pyongyang.
This visit is Kim’s first abroad since he was appointed as leader of his country six years ago. It also represents the first time he meets with a foreign head of state.
“There is no doubt that my first visit abroad had to be to the Chinese capital,” the North Korean leader was quoted as saying by the KCNA news agency. “It is my solemn duty, as someone who must value the ties over generations.”
China is the main political ally and great economic partner of North Korea, since the time when it sent troops to support Pyongyang in the Korean War (1950-1953).
But during Kim Jong-un’s term, relations have remained distant in the best of cases: the North Korean leader viewed with resentment what he perceived as a dominant Chinese attitude. And Beijing saw with irritation the progress of the North Korean nuclear program, which endangered the stability of the region.
Over the past year, it has applied international sanctions against its neighboring country with much greater rigidity .
The trip helps to normalize relations between the two allied theorists. Xi Jinping, according to KCNA, has accepted an invitation from Kim and will travel to Pyongyang, at a date not yet determined, to return the visit.
All a bombshell: we must go back to 2005 to find the last visit of a Chinese head of State, Hu Jintao, to North Korea.
The North Korean leader, says the state agency, is committed to “strengthen and elevate” bilateral ties.