China says President Xi Jinping has met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a northern Chinese port city. The meeting, held Monday and Tuesday in Dalian, is the second between the two men in recent weeks, following Kim's March visit to Beijing, his first since taking power six years ago. China is North Korea's only major ally, although trade between them has plummeted in recent months as Beijing enforces United Nations' economic sanctions in response to the North's nuclear bomb and ballistic missile tests. The meeting between Xi and Kim comes as the North Korean leader prepares to hold a historic summit with President Trump, reports the AP.
China has been eager to assert its importance in the process of lowering tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and looked to be squarely in the middle of things on Tuesday. Trump tweeted, "I will be speaking to my friend, President Xi of China, this morning at 8:30. The primary topics will be Trade, where good things will happen, and North Korea, where relationships and trust are building." Yonhap reports Kim attended the meeting via "special plane," per North Korea's state media, and was reportedly joined by his sister, Kim Yo Jong. The South China Morning Post notes Kim travels by air infrequently; last time he brought his own toilet.