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

AP  |  Beijing 

The motorcade of North Korean leader Un headed out Wednesday morning to an unannounced destination on the second full day of a visit to that has been shrouded in secrecy but is seen as part of preparations for a possible second summit with

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

His trip to China, the fourth in the past 10 months, is believed to be an effort to coordinate with his only major ally ahead of a possible second meeting with Trump.

It comes after US and North Korean officials are thought to have met in to discuss the site of the summit.

North Korean and Chinese have announced his visit but provided no details of what he has done since arriving aboard his personal armoured train on Tuesday morning.

He was believed to have met with on Tuesday afternoon, but no has been released about the day's events.

At Tuesday's daily briefing, gave no details about Kim's schedule or China's role as an intermediary between the US and

He said remains supportive of efforts to end tensions over US demands for a halt to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

"We always believe that, as key parties to the issue, it's important for the two sides to maintain contact and we always support their dialogue to achieve positive outcomes," Lu told reporters.

He said further information about Kim's activities, the outcome of his meetings and a possible visit by Xi to would be "released in due course."

North Korea's state agency said Kim departed Monday afternoon with his wife, Ri Sol Ju, and other top officials.

Tuesday was Kim's birthday.

Kim's visit is also seen as part of an effort to win Chinese support for a reduction of UN sanctions imposed over his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs that have severely impacted his country's already ailing economy.

While hasn't conducted any launches or detonations in more than a year, it's displayed no real intention of abandoning the programs that are seen as guaranteeing the hard-line communist regime's survival.

Kim's visit also comes after he expressed frustration in his annual New Year's address over the lack of progress in negotiations with since the summit with Trump in June, saying that if things don't improve meaning that if sanctions relief and security guarantees aren't in the offing might have to find "a new way" forward.

While Trump says he considers Xi key to enticing Kim into taking concrete steps toward denuclearisation, the president's own relationship with his Chinese counterpart has frayed over the US-trade war.

Officially, at least, says it considers the tariff battle and North Korea's weapons programs to be entirely separate.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 09:55 IST
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