Kim Jong Un makes first foreign visit as North Korea ruler, meets Xi Jinping in Beijing

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SHANGHAI/SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited China from Sunday to Wednesday on an unofficial visit, China`s state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

The visit was Kim`s first known journey abroad since he assumed power in 2011 and is believed by analysts to serve as preparation for upcoming summits with South Korea and the United States.

Beijing has traditionally been the closest ally of secretive and isolated North Korea, but ties have been frayed by North Korea`s pursuit of nuclear weapons and China`s backing of tough U.N. sanctions in response.

Xinhua published a photograph of Kim and Xi shaking hands in front of the flags of the two nations.

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