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China's Xi heads for NKorea for state visit, talks with Kim

By The News · 22 of June 2019 20:38:28
AP Photo,, No available, FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2019, file photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi said North Korea is taking the "right direction" by politically resolving issues on the Korean Peninsula in a rare op-ed published by a North Korean state newspaper Wednesday, June 19, 2019, a day before Xi visits Pyongyang to meet Kim. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say President Xi Jinping has departed for his state visit to North Korea, which he has said will strengthen the countries’ strategic ties.

Xinhua news agency said Xi left Thursday morning and was accompanied by his wife, Peng Liyuan, and several Communist Party officials. He’s expected to have talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, including about his nuclear program as talks have stalled with the U.S.

Experts say Xi will likely endorse North Korea’s calls for an incremental disarmament process in which every action Pyongyang takes it met with U.S. concessions on sanctions and security issues.