Xi is the first Chinese president to go to North Korea in 14 years after relations between the Cold War period allies deteriorated over Pyongyang’s nuclear provocations and Beijing’s subsequent backing of UN sanctions.
Xi and Kim have been working to repair ties, with the younger North Korean leader visiting his older ally four times in China in the past year and Beijing calling for sanctions to be relaxed.
However, the Chinese chief waited to reciprocate the visit, biding his time to see how nuclear talks between Kim and Trump would play out before deciding to travel to Pyongyang, based on analysts.
Xi, who can pay a two-day state visit, arrived in North Korea late on Thursday morning, China’s CCTV stated.
He’s visiting along with his spouse Peng Liyuan, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and different officers, according to Chinese state media.
In Pyongyang, Chinese flags hung throughout the town and residents have been lined the streets to welcome Xi.
The Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the speaker of the ruling party, devoted the top half of its front page to Xi’s visit, with a color image of him accompanying a profile.
In an editorial, it mentioned his journey would “engrave a new, enduring page in the history of DPRK-China friendship.”
“The visit of our nation that comes despite the emergence of urgent and important duties as a consequence of complicated global relations reveals that the Chinese party and authorities are putting high importance on the DPRK-China friendship,” it went on.
“Our people are happy with having a trustworthy and close friend, just like the Chinese people.”
Authorities have imposed tight control on the coverage of the visit. International journalists in Pyongyang had been instructed that they might not have the ability to cover it, whereas foreign media organizations that have been initially invited to attend were unable to obtain visas.
Sources say the Chinese media delegation accompanying Xi was also reduced in size from initial plans.