Kim Jong Un Goes to Beijing: North Korean Dictator Makes First Foreign Trip As Leader

Kim Jong Un visits Beijing, ChinaKCNA/Reuters
A motorcade drives through Beijing as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid an unofficial visit to Beijing.KCNA/Reuters

China and North Korea have both confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Beijing and met Chinese President Xi Jinping during what China's Foreign Ministry called an unofficial visit to China, from Sunday to Wednesday (March 25-28).

The China visit was Kim's first known trip outside North Korea 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.

Billed as an unofficial trip, Kim's appearance in Beijing contained almost all the trappings of a state visit, complete with an honor guard and banquet at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Kim and Xi also met at the Diaoyutai State Guest House, where Kim Il Sung planted a tree in 1959 that still stands.

Kim Jong Un's Mysterious Party Train Full of Wine Reportedly Sighted in China

Kim told a banquet hosted by Xi that the visit was intended to "maintain our great friendship and continue and develop our bilateral ties at a time of rapid developments on the Korean peninsula", according to North Korean state news agency KCNA.

Speculation about a possible visit by Kim Jong Un to Beijing was rife after a train similar to the one used by his father was seen in the Chinese capital, along with heavy security and a large motorcade.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju are greeted as they get out of the car.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and wife Ri Sol Ju, and Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan pose for a photo.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping inspect honor guards.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and wife Ri Sol Ju talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during his visit to Beijing.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and wife Ri Sol Ju pose for a picture with Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju visit the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju look at an exhibition.KCNA/Reuters

China and North Korea have both confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Beijing and met Chinese President Xi Jinping during what China's Foreign Ministry called an unofficial visit to China, from Sunday to Wednesday (March 25-28).

The China visit was Kim's first known trip outside North Korea 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.

Billed as an unofficial trip, Kim's appearance in Beijing contained almost all the trappings of a state visit, complete with an honor guard and banquet at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Kim and Xi also met at the Diaoyutai State Guest House, where Kim Il Sung planted a tree in 1959 that still stands.

Kim Jong Un's Mysterious Party Train Full of Wine Reportedly Sighted in China

Kim told a banquet hosted by Xi that the visit was intended to "maintain our great friendship and continue and develop our bilateral ties at a time of rapid developments on the Korean peninsula", according to North Korean state news agency KCNA.

Speculation about a possible visit by Kim Jong Un to Beijing was rife after a train similar to the one used by his father was seen in the Chinese capital, along with heavy security and a large motorcade.