North and South Korea set to make big joint announcement

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During his visit to Beijing, Kim briefed Xi on the discussions he held with Trump at their summit in Singapore, which the Chinese leader described as an "important step toward the political solution of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue".

The two leaders posed for the cameras along with their wives Ri Sol-ju and Peng Liyuan, before the North Koreans left for Pyongyang on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Kim's motorcade had earlier been seen leaving the North Korean embassy as police closed off major roads and intersections in central Beijing.

The motorcade travelled to Beijing's airport, where the limousine was spotted entering the charter flight terminal.

The Koreas last held family reunions in 2015 before relations worsened because of North Korea's accelerated pursuit of nuclear long-range missiles and the countering hard-line policies of Seoul's conservative then-government. The following month, North Korea invited foreign journalists to witness the destruction of it's only known nuclear testing site in Punggye-ri.

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A vehicle, speculated to be that of North Korean high-level officials, departs from Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday.

It was Kim's third trip to China this year as he keeps close contact with his main ally.

The North Korean leader, who was greeted by a military honour guard and cheering children at the Great Hall of the People Tuesday, said he valued the "recently strengthened strategic cooperation" between the two countries, according to North Korea's official KCNA news agency.

Trump said he developed a "special bond" with Kim and upon his return to the United States tweeted that "there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea".

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Kim's two-day visit to China came a week after his Singapore summit with the U.S. President, where he and Trump reaffirmed a commitment to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The US and South Korea also suspended a major joint military exercise that was planned for August in what was seen as a major victory for North Korea and its chief allies, China and Russian Federation.

After the Singapore meeting, Trump said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House national security adviser John Bolton would take part in follow-up meetings with North Korean officials this week to "go into the details" of the denuclearization agreement the president believed he had struck with Kim.

But since the Trump-Kim summit, China's Foreign Ministry has suggested that the United Nations consider easing the sanctions on North Korea even before denuclearization.

The limited rounds of reunions are vastly insufficient to meet the demands of ageing relatives, who are mostly in their 80s and 90s, South Korean officials say.

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