Here's where the next Trump-Kim summit may take place

Posted January 09, 2019

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

During his first meeting with Xi past year in March, which was also his first overseas trip since assuming the mantle of leadership in North Korea in December 2011 after his father Kim Jong Il's death, the Chinese president emphasized the importance of "high-level exchanges" between the two countries.

South Korean lawmaker Kim Min-ki said an official from Seoul's National Intelligence Service shared the information during a closed-door briefing.

As a tit-for-tat tariff war waged by Trump early past year has shown signs of choking China's economic growth, Xi "really wants to resolve the trade dispute with the United States", the diplomat said, adding, "North Korea can be a very good bargaining chip".

-North Korea summit in talks in Beijing on Tuesday, Yonhap news agency said, days after Kim warned he may take an alternative path if the United States does not ease sanctions.

His presence in Beijing is a sign that serious preparations are underway for the second Trump-Kim summit, which Mr Trump has said will happen soon.

The late Hwang Jang Yop remains as the highest-ranking North Korean official to defect from the North and seek asylum in South Korea.

A second summit could address concerns to global security after Kim piled pressure on Trump by threatening in his annual New Year's address to take a "new path", if the US didn't relax economic sanctions.

The former Speaker cited that the leaders of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Republic of Korea engaged in a series of diplomatic efforts in order to achieve permanent peace in the Korean Peninsula.

It said Mr Kim is visiting China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. "Washington has expressed concerns that China could use the North Korean issue for leverage in its trade disputes with the U.S.", Kuhn reports.

"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 the US -based Centre for the National Interest, said in an e-mailed statement.

Until his first trip in March, Kim had not met Xi in the six years after inheriting power from his father.

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He made a surprise appearance on Monday to greet the United States delegation of mid-level officials, a sign of China's willingness to avert a full-blown trade war.

Since the Singapore summit, there is growing scepticism in the U.S. over Kim delivering on his promise to do away with the nuclear programme despite Washington's assurance over North Korea's security.

Kim, accompanied by a high-level delegation, will stay in China until Thursday where he is planning to hold talks with Xi, both the Chinese and North Korean state media confirmed.

Trump also told reporters Sunday that USA sanctions would be upheld "in full force and effect" pending "very positive" progress from Pyongyang on denuclearization.

"Their behaviour has demonstrated that as well and we appreciate that", Pompeo said.

The four-day visit could be a chance for the two leaders to coordinate ahead of a second summit between Kim and President Trump, NPR's global correspondent Anthony Kuhn reports.