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North Korea

Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping share wine and smiles during North Korean leader’s landmark visit 

‘Candid’ images released by North Korea’s official news agency show the reclusive state’s leader and Xi Jinping smiling and making a toast

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 5:52pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 7:02pm

Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping smiling over glasses of red and white wine is just one of several “candid” images that have been released following the North Korean leader’s unexpected visit to Beijing.

The photo of the pair apparently raising their wine glasses in a toast at the end of a banquet was published by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday.

The leader of the reclusive state met Xi during a trip to China on Tuesday, his first overseas visit since he became North Korea’s leader.

Footage from China Central Television (CCTV) also showed Kim and his wife Ri Sol-ju waving goodbye to Chinese dignitaries from their car just before they made their way to Beijing station to board an armoured express train to Pyongyang.

A shot of the pair waving to Chinese Communist Party officials and state media from the window of the distinctive green train, which is used by senior North Korean officials, was also published.

North Korea’s first lady Ri has become an instant hit in China following her visit to Beijing. 

The mysterious young wife of the totalitarian leader, was described as dressing in a “subtle” style that suggested a “powerful presence”.

Kim arrived by train in Beijing on Monday and left the following day, with his trip to China coming just days before a planned meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and ahead of a possible summit with US President Donald Trump.

During the visit, Kim told Xi that he was “committed to the denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula, but also wanted assurances from the United States and South Korea.

Shots of Xi and Kim shaking hands with party members and inspecting the honour guards in the Great Hall of the People accompanied the more informal photos.