BEIJING -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday arrived in China for his third visit in as many months, Chinese state media reported, showcasing the neighbors' close ties after Kim's historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump last week.
Xinhua News Agency said Kim arrived for a two-day visit. The North Korean leader is expected to brief Chinese President Xi Jinping on his summit with Trump and discuss a strategy for upcoming negotiations, sources said.
Nikkei earlier broke the story that Kim was set to visit China again, following trips to Dalian in May and Beijing in March.
Several special planes landed in Beijing on Tuesday morning, with one of them apparently carrying Kim. Another appeared to be a cargo aircraft carrying his limousine.
Kim's latest visit to his country's longtime ally and economic backer comes as North Korea and the U.S. prepare to hold high-level talks, possibly this week, to follow up on their June 12 Singapore summit.
Trump said at the summit that the U.S. would provide "security guarantees" to the North Korean regime and cancel military drills with South Korea. But Kim was unable to come away from the meeting with a pledge on the easing of sanctions.
"We're going to get complete denuclearization; only then will there be relief from the sanctions," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday. China, on the other hand, is open to easing sanctions once North Korea makes a certain amount of progress toward ending its nuclear weapons program.
By staging three summits with Xi in quick succession, Kim appears to be trying to show the U.S. that Chinese support for North Korea remains firm. Beijing, for its part, likely wants to use its influence on Pyongyang as a bargaining chip in its escalating trade dispute with the U.S.
Nikkei staff writer Mitsuru Obe in Tokyo contributed to this article.