Xi Jinping to visit North Korea for the first time

Shanghai: Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit Pyongyang next month at the invitation of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un to attend the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding, Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper reported.

It will be the Chinese leader’s first visit to the North Korean capital since he took power in 2012, and 13 years after the last visit by a Chinese President, when Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao visited in 2005.

The Straits Times did not say where it obtained the information and the Chinese foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment. N Korea’s celebrations are set to take place on September 9 and the visit could be a subject to changes.

China rubbishes strikes training claims

  • China’s defence ministry has lodged a complaint with the US about a Pentagon report that said China’s military was likely training for strikes against the United States and its allies, saying it was ‘pure guesswork’. The assessment was contained in an annual report that highlighted China’s efforts to increase its global influence, with defence spending exceeded $190 billion in 2017.

Kim visited China thrice this year

  • China is the reclusive country’s important trading partner and Kim has visited China 3 times so far this year during which he has held talks with Xi on improving ties between the two countries.
  • The US has stepped up sanctions to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program. The US imposed sanctions on Chinese firms for exporting to N Korea.