Kim Jong-Un has made a surprise visit to China, confirmed as his first known foreign trip since assuming power.
The North Korean leader made unofficial the trip at China’s request and met Chinese President Xi Jinping, where he discussed giving up the country’s nuclear weapons, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
Xinhua reported Mr Kim said he felt compelled to personally inform President Xi of recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.
The news agency said Mr Kim held “successful talks” with the Chinese President, in which he told Mr Xi the Korean Peninsula situation was improving because North Korea was attempting to ease tensions and introduce proposals for peace talks.
“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearisation on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il-sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong-il,” Mr Kim said, according to Xinhua.
China is North Korea’s neighbour and most important ally.
Mr Kim also said he was committed to holding talks with the United States.
“The issue of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts and goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realisation of peace,” Mr Kim said.
His conditions include removing a US nuclear guarantee for South Korea, according to observers.
North Korea’s news agency KCNA said the visit was a milestone in improving bilateral ties.
Analysts believe the trip was preparation for summits with South Korea and the United States.
Mr Kim will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April and US President Donald Trump in May.
His visit concludes a mystery beginning on Monday, after a mysterious train arrived in central Beijing, causing reports of a high-profile visitor from North Korea.
The unofficial status of the visit has meant some of the normal protocols of foreign visits were not observed.
However, the visit almost appeared to be official, complete with an honour guard and banquet at Beijing’s Great Hall of People.
State television showed pictures of the two men chatting amiably and Mr Kim’s wife Ri Sol-ju also warmly welcomed by Mr Xi’s wife Peng Liyuan.
The White House said in a statement Beijing reportedly briefed US President Donald Trump on Mr Kim’s visit, including a personal message from Mr Xi to Mr Trump.
“We can see this development as further evidence that our campaign of maximum pressure is creating the appropriate atmosphere for dialogue with North Korea,” it said.
Meanwhile, Mr Xi has accepted an invitation to visit North Korea and told Mr Kim that their traditional friendship should continue to develop.
“This is a strategic choice and the only right choice both sides have made based on history and reality, the international and regional structure and the general situation of China-DPRK ties,” Mr Xi said.
“This should not and will not change because of any single event at a particular time.”