Donald Trump: Kim Jong Un looking forward to meeting me

A combined image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump

People watch a news program on TV reporting about the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, March 28, 2018.

The talks were the first between the two Koreas since the delegation returned from the North.

"Received message last night from XI JINPING of China that his meeting with KIM JONG UN went very well and that KIM looks forward to his meeting with me", Trump tweeted.

But as a senior South Korean government official noted separately, the North appears to be making some "fairly sophisticated moves" and sending the signal that it has China's backing ahead of summit talks with the US.

"China feels a little nervous" about these summits and that "it might be left out and not be in control of the direction of developments on the Korean peninsula", said Mr Zhao Tong, a researcher with the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy in Beijing.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's just-concluded visit to Beijing is both an indication that Pyongyang's fraught ties with its neighbour have improved and that Beijing is anxious about being marginalised in talks on the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, analysts said.

Mr Kim is also scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump some time in May to discuss denuclearisation, although a time and place have not been set for that summit.

North and South Korea have experienced a significant easing in tensions since the Winter Olympics in the South in February.

On his first trip overseas since taking power, Kim and his wife were greeted by an honor guard and a banquet hosted by President Xi Jinping, according to state media, which confirmed the three-day visit on Wednesday only after Kim had returned by train to North Korea.

Even more surprising was Mr Kim's pledge to denuclearise the Korean summit.

Robert Kelly, a professor at Pusan National University in South Korea, said: "Xi would not grant this meeting unless the Chinese were genuinely concerned about the summits to come and wanted some kind of role to play".

Kim Jong-un on tour?

Kim is due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in late April at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone, followed by landmark talks with US President Donald Trump which could come as early as May.

Mr Xi Jinping promised Beijing would uphold its friendship with North Korea after his meeting with Mr Kim.



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