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Sino-North Korean relations have traversed three eras in China -- under Mao, Deng and Xi -- and a North Korean dynasty of three Kims -- Il Sung, Jong Il and Jong Un.
China up close

Mao Zedong and the roots of the North Korea nuclear crisis

Three generations of Kims have believed that northeast China is rightfully theirs

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- Back in May 2000, Kim Jong Il made his first trip to China as North Korea's top leader. An informal visit, it was kept under wraps until Kim, the father of North Korea's current leader, returned to Pyongyang.

Kim had a big request for Jiang Zemin, then China's president.

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