Singapore and Vietnam shortlisted for second Trump-Kim summit: South Korean officials

A vehicle that is part of a motorcade believed to be carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un makes its way through central Beijing

Kim's visit comes as a United States delegation opened a second day of talks with Chinese counterparts in Beijing aimed at ending the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Like Mr Moon, Mr Xi had emphasised the importance of both sides compromising, suggesting the leaders needed to "meet each other halfway" to break the deadlock.

"In a word, Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit to China is an indication that the second North Korea-U.S. summit is drawing near", Moon said.

"Xi Jinping said that the legitimate issues raised by the DPRK are rightful demands and that he fully agrees that the DPRK's reasonable interests should be justly resolved", it said, using the official country name the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

China could provide economic, political and security guarantees to North Korea in denuclearisation talks, said Hua Po, a Beijing-based independent political commentator.

Trump and Kim met in Singapore in June for the first-ever leaders' meeting between their nations, but there has been a standoff ever since, with dueling accusations of bad faith.

"Closer ties between China and North Korea in pursuit of a security alliance will not be welcomed by the US", Lim said.

Tuesday was Mr. Kim's birthday.

In his annual New Year's speech last week, Kim renewed his commitment to denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula but warned the United States of taking a "new path" if it doesn't ease sanctions. The visit wrapped up Kim's two-day stay in the city, after he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Tuesday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news briefing Tuesday in Beijing that Kim's visit had no bearing on USA trade talks.

"We welcome North Korea's intention to resume their operation without conditions or compensation", Moon said.

At Tuesday's daily Foreign Ministry briefing, spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing remains supportive of efforts to end tensions over US demands for a halt to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

All aboard: Kim's personal train which brought him to Beijing has pink leather chairs inside.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un departed for Pyongyang after visiting an industrial site in Beijing, Wednesday.

A vehicle in the motorcade of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seen in Beijing on January 9, 2019.

China is the North's sole major ally, main diplomatic backer and a key trade partner, whose forces were instrumental in fighting for it during the 1950-53 Korean War.

USA strategic assets in the region involved not only North Korea, "but also overall stability and peace in Northeast Asia", Moon said.

"[North Korea would] make efforts for the second summit between DPRK and U.S. leaders to achieve results that will be welcomed by the worldwide community".

But Hua said Kim's visit would have a "limited" effect on the trade negotiations. -China negotiations were extended another day to Wednesday.

Video footage shown on South Korean and Japanese media showed streets being cleared of traffic for a convoy of luxury vehicles, supposedly shuttling Kim through Beijing.

There is no definite date or location for the possible second Kim-Trump summit, though South Korean president Moon Jae-in says it will happen very "soon".

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