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President Xi to make maiden visit to N.Korea ahead of his meeting with Trump

Beijing | President Xi Jinping would make his maiden visit to Pyongyang this week – the first by a Chinese leader in 14 years – in a big boost to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who is under heavy pressure from the US to give up nuclear weapons programme.

Xi will visit Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – the official name for North Korea – from June 20 to 21, at the invitation of Kim, the spokesperson for the International Department of the ruling Communist Party of China, Hu Zhaoming, announced here.

His visit coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Xi’s visit, the first by a Chinese leader in 14 years to the internationally isolated country reeling under UN sanctions for pursuing nuclear weapons programme, comes ahead of his proposed meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of G-20 summit scheduled to be held on June 28-29 in Tokyo.

Kim, who had two summit meetings with Trump, is under immense pressure from the US president to give up the nuclear programme. Their summit at Hanoi, Vietnam in February failed and Trump staved off pressure to agree to lift crippling UN sanctions.

Kim, who shares close ties with President Xi, has travelled to China ahead of his proposed meetings with Trump, prompting the US president Tump to allege that the Chinese President was negatively influencing the North Korean leader from clinching a deal to give up the nuclear programme.

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