Kim Jong Un heads home via train after two-day Beijing visit

Kim Jong Un's motorcade heads out on day 2 of China trip

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left Beijing after talking and dining with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to South Korean media, in a show of unity as they engage in delicate negotiations with President Donald Trump's administration.

A train reportedly carrying Kim left Beijing in the afternoon and is possibly headed back to North Korea, according to the Kyodo news agency.

Kim travelled to China - his most important security and trade partner - before meetings a year ago with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The US is refraining from negative comments on Kim's trip because China has been tough on the enforcement of United Nations sanctions against North Korea and trade talks with Beijing are going smoothly, said Kim Hyun-wook, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy.

Kim could not be seen but the limousine he uses was observed zipping east down a main thoroughfare in Beijing and then returning about an hour later.

The unannounced trip was largely shrouded in secrecy.

Kim and Xi held talks Tuesday - believed to be Kim's birthday - shortly after the North Korean leader arrived in Beijing.

Kim was invited to Beijing by Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit China amid negotiations for a second summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump. -North Korea summit and expressed hopes of further improvements in diplomatic ties and steps toward denuclearization of North Korea.

Xi and first lady Peng Liyuan later hosted a dinner for Kim and his wife Ri Sol-ju at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, which lasted four hours.

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"China will also introduce some successful experiences to Kim to help North Korea achieve economic transformation and realise the denuclearisation of the peninsula as soon as possible", Mr Lu told AFP.

Asked if China is seeking to use Kim's visit as leverage in trade negotiations with the USA, he added, "China's diplomacy incorporates rich and diverse contents".

In his speech, he warned that Pyongyang may change its approach to nuclear talks if Washington persists with sanctions.

In his New Year speech, Kim focussed on his country's economy, saying that improving people's lives was his top priority and tackling energy shortages was an urgent task.

The visit coincides with negotiations between United States and Chinese officials in Beijing to resolve a bruising trade war between the world's two biggest economies. For Xi, whose country provides a lifeline to North Korea's anemic economy, the meeting with Kim reminds Trump that China's co-operation will make any nuclear deal more effective.

Kim and Trump pledged to work towards denuclearisation at their landmark June summit in Singapore, but the agreement was short on specifics.

A Cheong Wa Dae spokesman declined to say whether Seoul was informed of Kim's visit by either North Korea or China.

Shi Yinhong, an worldwide relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said Kim's trip would have no direct influence on the progress of trade talks.

Meanwhile, Cheong Wa Dae said it hopes Kim's visit to China "lays the groundwork" for a second U.S. "Judging from the delegation lineup, the mission appears to place emphasis on North Korea's continuing diplomatic outreach and nuclear and security issues", Aoki said.

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