STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Kim Jong Un departs Beijing after meetings with Xi Jinping

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un departed Beijing Wednesday by train, marking an end to his surprise visit to...

Posted: Jan 9, 2019 11:32 AM
Updated: Jan 9, 2019 11:32 AM

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un departed Beijing Wednesday by train, marking an end to his surprise visit to the Chinese capital that comes as Washington and Pyongyang are trying to hammer out the details of a second summit.

Kim and his delegation are now expected to begin the 13-hour trip to the town of Dandong, which sits on the border between China and North Korea. Kim is expected to spend a total of four days in China, entering the country Monday and leaving early on Thursday.

Asia

Beijing

China

Continents and regions

East Asia

Kim Jong Un

North Korea

Political Figures - Intl

Xi Jinping

Kim Il Sung

North America

The Americas

United States

Donald Trump

Political Figures - US

Pyongyang

The visit was Kim's third to Beijing and fourth to China since March 2018, in what was his first trip outside North Korea since assuming power in 2011. He arrived in Beijing in his famed armored train early Tuesday morning and held meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China is North Korea's only real ally internationally and is Pyongyang's biggest trading partner by some margin.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang would not comment on the purpose or timing of Kim's visit at a briefing Tuesday, saying only that the two countries were making "joint efforts to uphold peace and stability on the Korean peninsula."

An editorial in Global Times, a nationalist state-run Chinese tabloid, said Kim's decision to visit China on his birthday illustrates just how close the two countries are and how vital China's role is in ongoing denuclearization talks.

"We hope that the United States and South Korea can accurately understand that the development of good relations between China and North Korea is significant in pushing for the denuclearization of the (Korean) peninsula," the piece read.

Analysts have speculated that Kim may be using the trip to both to shore up relations between Beijing and Pyongyang and remind the Trump administration that North Korea has potential diplomatic and economic partners beyond the United States and South Korea.

"It's pretty clear he's not putting all his eggs in one US basket because he has a bigger goal in mind -- achieving prosperity, achieving inter-Korean peace and reunification but on Pyongyang's terms, and engaging diplomatically with like-minded countries to show the world that Kim loves and promotes peace more than Trump," said Duyeon Kim, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for New American Security.

Kim Jong Un's visit comes as the United States and China concluded high-level meetings in Beijing Wednesday to bring about an end to the trade war between the two countries, the first face-to-face meetings between the two sides since US President Donald Trump and Xi effectively called a truce in the trade war last month.

Experts believe that the young North Korean leader may see an opening if the relationship between Beijing and Washington continues to deteriorate.

In his annual New Year's Day address, Kim appeared to affirm his commitment to denuclearization but warned of pursuing a "new way" if the United States continued to make unilateral demands in the negotiating process.

Meeting with Xi before Trump, offers the North Korean leader an opportunity to go over his game plan for the Trump summit with his Chinese counterpart, said Duyeon Kim.

"Beijing's invisible hand is very visible even though Beijing doesn't yet have a physical seat the at the summit table," she said.

Analysts have also said that could mean leaning more on China at the expense of the United States or even attempt to play the two global superpowers off one another. Kim's grandfather and North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung, pursued a similar strategy in dealing with China and the Soviet Union while the two countries were feuding.

However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Chinese have told him that the two are "separate issues."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
Grenada3556104
Stone350860
Tishomingo336289
Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 789054

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1115991765
Mobile708511234
Madison49865633
Shelby36274315
Baldwin36242495
Tuscaloosa33931548
Montgomery33190678
Lee22680220
Calhoun21211410
Morgan19816335
Etowah19300462
Marshall17680274
Houston16823386
St. Clair15442305
Cullman14602258
Limestone14581188
Elmore14480264
Lauderdale13520281
Talladega12958236
DeKalb12199237
Walker10588330
Blount9720157
Autauga9667137
Jackson9385158
Coffee8882175
Dale8609173
Colbert8534184
Tallapoosa6673181
Escambia6591121
Covington6452167
Chilton6385144
Russell607255
Franklin5795101
Chambers5416134
Marion4800120
Dallas4705189
Clarke463279
Pike462397
Geneva4413117
Winston425895
Lawrence4117108
Bibb409381
Barbour347270
Marengo326285
Monroe320053
Butler318290
Randolph305956
Pickens305274
Henry301858
Hale292685
Cherokee289855
Fayette279673
Washington245448
Crenshaw238470
Cleburne235851
Clay228565
Macon220158
Lamar197743
Conecuh182046
Lowndes170758
Coosa170235
Wilcox159736
Bullock149243
Perry136537
Sumter124536
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 84°
Columbus
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 85°
Oxford
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 82°
Starkville
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 83°
Today, as we head out the door, temperatures will be in the low 60s. Going into the afternoon we will see temperatures hitting the mid-80s, definitely a warmer day than the previous few. Some passing clouds can be expected but no rain to start our work week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather