Kim Jong Un’s China Visit Shows Trump He’s ‘Not the Only Game in Town’

South Korea North Korea China
Ahn Young-joon/AP

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un likely used a trip to China to talk with President Xi Jinping as a way to indicate to U.S. President Donald Trump that he's got power in negotiations over Noth Korea's nuclear arsenal, experts told NBC News.

Kim took a luxury train plated with armor to Beijing on Tuesday for the talks, their fourth summit. If it follows a pattern set last year, it will precede a meeting with Trump or South Korea's president.

"Kim is probably using [the meeting] as a way of indirectly signaling to Donald Trump that he has other options, that the U.S.-North Korea relationship is not the only game in town," said John Nilsson-Wright of London think tank Chatham House.

According to Victor GAO, vice-chairman of the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization think tank, the meeting demonstrates that Kim has China's backing, and Kim "wants to be in a situation where he can engage with President Trump as an equal."

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