North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will return to Pyongyang Wednesday after a two-day visit to China, the chief economic and diplomatic ally of his impoverished regime.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Kim thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for supporting Kim’s historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore last week. Kim also said Pyongyang and Beijing had entered into a new era of bilateral cooperation and friendship.

President Xi welcomed the young North Korean leader Tuesday during a reception at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. He was quoted as saying the summit marked an “important step toward the political solution of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue” and hoped North Korea and the United States can “implement well the outcomes achieved at the summit.”

Kim and President Donald Trump agreed to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in exchange for U.S. security agreements and a suspension of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that have angered Pyongyang.

Last week’s summit was the first of its kind between a North Korean leader and a U.S. president.

This is Kim Jong Un’s third visit to China this year. No official agenda has been announced for his schedule prior to his departure Wednesday.


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