Published: Sun, June 23, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Xi rode in "illicitly obtained" Mercedes at summit with Kim, photos show

Xi rode in

Chinese President Xi Jinping's two-day state visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a major diplomatic action that comes as the world is undergoing changes unseen in a century and the global situation is seeing complex and profound changes, a senior Chinese official said on Friday.

Kim said North Korea had taken many steps to avoid tensions but has not received positive responses from "the party concerned", Xinhua reported, in an apparent reference to the United States.

Luxury goods were first banned from export to North Korea under UNSC Resolution 1718 passed in 2006, with "luxury automobiles (and motor vehicles)" explicitly prohibited after Resolution 2094 passed in March 2013.

But Trump has also seen Xi as a potentially negative influence on Kim, calling him a "world-class poker player" previous year, as he noted a change of attitude by the North Korean leader after meeting the Chinese president.

The Mercedes is one of several luxury-class vehicles owned by North Korea which have found notoriety in the summits and high-level diplomatic exchanges of the past 18 months, due to representing likely violations of UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions.

"The supreme leaders ... broadly exchanged their opinions on the political situation of the Korean Peninsula and other serious global and regional issues", KCNA said.

"Xi and North Korea are saying the Beijing-Pyongyang alliance forged in blood will not be affected by Trump, regardless of any economic incentives to effect a change", he said.

For his part, Kim appreciated China's valuable support for the WPK's efforts to lead the people in the DPRK on the path to socialism, saying that the friendship between the two sides has been long standing, and enjoyed a firm basis, and the two sides are conducting intensive exchanges and friendly cooperation like family.

He said that the North Korean government has exacerbated the problem through "failing economic and agricultural policies" and not "developing the conditions where people can securely access food through markets without being criminalized".

England v Sri Lanka, 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup
Sri Lanka could only manage to win against Afghanistan in the five matches they have played so far. England now sit on third position on the points table after winning four of their five games.

KCNA said the performance was specially prepared for the Chinese goodwill visit and included songs such as "Without the Communist Party, there is no new China" and "I love you, China".

Tens of thousands of North Koreans lined the streets to welcome Xi, as the two leaders rode together through the capital in an open-topped Mercedes Benz limousine.

In the South Korean capital, Seoul, a United Nations human rights expert said there were signs that China had been collaborating with North Korea to arrest more North Koreans escaping from their country.

His visit to North Korea was the first by a Chinese president in 14 years.

Later Thursday, Xi attended a performance of North Korea's mass games, in which hundreds of performers engage in a display of mass choreography. The building is where Kim's office is known to be.

Xi was expected to endorse North Korea's calls for an incremental disarmament process.

After a flurry of diplomacy in 2018 and early 2019, including three meetings between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in and two summits between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, talks have stalled.

Abe may have believed that North Korea really wants the global community to lift economic sanctions and that it would ask for Japan's help as long as its negotiations with the United States remain at a stalemate, the government source said.

South Korea's former Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun analyzed Thursday's summit at a local forum and said Seoul will have to devise "new measures" for solving North Korea's nuclear crisis after Xi's visit to Pyongyang, stressing that what used to be a three-party system involving the United States and both Koreas has turned into a four-party system including China. That message will prove important as Xi prepares for a meeting with Trump next week on the sidelines of the G-20 in Japan.

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