China, North Korea to strengthen ties amid US disputes

People watch a TV news program reporting about Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to North Korea with file footage of Xi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on June 18, 2019. AP

SEOUL, South Korea  – Chinese President Xi Jinping travels to North Korea to meet leader Kim Jong Un this week looking to strengthen their sometimes shaky bond at a time when both are locked in dispute with the United States — Xi over trade and Kim over nuclear weapons.

The trip comes as Xi is locked in a costly trade war with President Donald Trump and ahead of an expected meeting between the leaders later this month at the G20 summit in Japan.

Xi’s meeting with Kim could be seen as a way for the Chinese leader to send Trump a subtle, yet still barbed message: Washington must bend on trade if it wants China to use its leverage as a regional powerbroker on its sometimes recalcitrant ally North Korea. (AP)


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