North Korea's Kim visiting China on June 19-20 - state media

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A vehicle forming part of the convoy believed to be that of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seen in Beijing June 19, 2018, in this still image taken from Reuters TV footage.

It is now urgent for Xi and Kim to discuss how North Korea will work towards meeting U.S. demands, said Beijing-based worldwide relations commentator Hua Po.

According to China's state-run China Central Television, Kim arrived in Beijing on a two-day official visit.

Kim's trip follows his groundbreaking summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore last week that resulted in a surprise announcement of a U.S. suspension of military drills with its South Korean ally.

Joe Hagin, the White House official who orchestrated logistics for the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, will depart the administration next month, according to officials.

Today, the United States and South Korean militaries confirmed they have called off upcoming joint exercises following Trump's order.

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Mr Trump earlier presented a standard for the first-stage goal of the denuclearisation process, although South Korea's foreign minister would not clearly agree on the point.

Kim Jong-un's latest trip to China has also sparked speculations that sanctions imposed by Beijing may be discussed. On previous visits by North Korean leaders, including those of Kim's father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung, the news of the visits were not announced until after the they had left the country.

Last week, it emerged that Chinese authorities were blocking internet searches for all words and articles deemed overly critical of Kim, including the popular Chinese expression "Jin San Pang", translating as 'Fatty the Third'.

After the summit, China suggested global sanctions on Pyongyang could be lifted.

During his press conference in Singapore after the summit, Trump suggested he succeeded where past administrations had failed. "This shows that China is moving toward a healthier and more normal direction in relations with North Korea", Cheng said.

He has been expected to visit the country to brief Chinese President Xi Jinping on his meeting with the United States president.

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Xi told Kim he hopes that North Korea and the USA can fully implement the deal, according to the AP. It applies exclusively to the August exercise Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, in which about 17,500 USA troops gathered with South Korean counterparts past year in an exercise that focused heavily on computer-simulations to defend against a North Korean attack.

China may not have been at the table for the summit in Singapore but it retains strong influence behind the scenes, Wang said.

In return, Trump made the shock announcement that he would stop joint military drills with South Korea, long seen as a provocation by Pyongyang and Beijing.

"Kim is reaching out to traditional friends and rivals and it really complicates the USA position of maximizing pressure on North Korea", said Stephen Nagy, a senior associate professor at the International Christian University in Tokyo. "It may be hard for Kim Jong-un to accept", Hua said.

What has come out of the summit, so far, seems like a version of China's "dual suspension" strategy - a plan that asks North Korea to suspend nuclear testing in return for a suspension of military exercises.

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