UPDATE : 2018.11.17 SAT 17:21
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Kim, Xi discuss strengthening strategic, tactical cooperation: NK media

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed ways to further strengthen strategic and tactical cooperation in their latest round of talks, North Korean state media reported Thursday.

Kim and Xi held their second session Wednesday, the second and last day of the North Korean leader's latest trip to Beijing. It followed their summit on Tuesday, the third between the two in about three months.

"The top leaders of the DPRK and China exchanged serious views on the present situation and urgent international issues and discussed issues to further strengthen the strategic and tactical cooperation between the two parties and the two countries under a new situation," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

DPRK is the acronym for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The KCNA also reported Kim's tour of key farming and other facilities before returning home on Wednesday.

Earlier in the morning, Kim visited the Sci-tech Innovation Institute under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and later toured the traffic control center, along with automated systems for the subway.

"Saying that he admires at the high-level automation and good combined control system of the centre, he hoped that the centre would further develop into a world-level traffic control centre and make a greater progress," the KCNA said.

He was accompanied by such senior officials as Choe Ryong-hae, vice chairman of the North's State Affairs Commission; Prime Minister Pak Pong-ju; Ri Su-yong, vice party chairman on international affairs; Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party, it added.

His tour of such facilities is interpreted as reflecting the North's growing interest in reforming its agricultural sector and building necessary infrastructure for economic development.

This marked Kim's third trip to China in three months.

Kim traveled to China in March and met with Xi in his first foreign trip since he took over the country in late 2011. The two also met in May ahead of Kim's summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

It came a week after Kim's historic meeting with Trump in Singapore on June 12 in which he affirmed his commitment to complete denuclearization, and the two of the longtime foes agreed to build "new" bilateral relations.

Kim's trip to China is seen as an apparent bid to strengthen bilateral ties with China ahead of the North's high-level talks with the U.S. to discuss details on how to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs.

China also appears to be working hard not to be marginalized in the fast-paced nuclear diplomacy surrounding the Korean Peninsula by bringing the North closer to its side after years of chilled relations over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations. (yonhap)

Hillary Kang  edt@koreapost.com

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