Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit North Korea this week
We begin with news out of China and North Korea.
It appears Pyeongyang will be rolling out the red carpet in a big way.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Pyeongyang this Thursday for a two-day state visit, the first for a Chinese leader in 14 years.
What's interesting is that it comes as denuclearization talks between Pyeongyang and Washington remain deadlocked and only a week before the G20 summit in Japan where presidents of China, U.S.. and South Korea are expected to hold separate one-on-ones on the sidelines.
Following the Osaka summit, Mr. Trump is set to visit South Korea.
A breakthrough in the stalled denuclearization talks?
Our Ko Roon-hee starts us off.
Amid the deadlock in denuclearization talks between Pyeongyang and Washington, the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China revealed on Monday that Chinese leader Xi Jinping will visit the North from June 20th to the 21st.
North Korea's state media also confirmed the visit.
"At the invitation of Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and president of the People's Republic of China, will pay a state visit to our country from June 20 to 21."
This will mark President Xi's first trip to North Korea since he came to power in 2012.
The last Chinese leader to visit the North was Hu Jintao in 2005.
Chinese state media reports the visit marks the 70th anniversary of China and North Korea establishing diplomatic ties and will further contribute to improving bilateral relations.
As for the rough itinerary, the two leaders are not only expected to discuss related issues but also participate in activities such as visiting the Sino-North Korean Friendship Tower in Pyeongyang.
This monument commemorates Chinese soldiers who fought alongside North Koreans during the Korean War.
The visit comes after North Korea's denuclearization talks with the U.S. collapsed dramatically in Hanoi earlier this year.
An analyst told the South China Morning Post on Monday that the visit has great geopolitical significance and will allow Beijing to continue to play an important role in Korean Peninsula affairs.
It's also worth noting that the meeting in North Korea will take place a week before the G20 summit in Japan...where U.S. President Donald Trump and President Xi are expected to meet amid the escalating trade tensions between the two countries.