North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearization and to meet U.S. officials, China said on Wednesday after his meeting with President Xi Jinping, who promised China would uphold friendship with its isolated neighbor.

After two days of speculation, China and North Korea both confirmed that Kim had traveled to Beijing and met Xi during what China called an unofficial visit from Sunday to Wednesday.

The visit was Kim’s first known trip outside North Korea since he assumed power in 2011 and is believed by analysts to serve as preparation for upcoming summits with South Korea and the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter he had received a message from Xi on Tuesday night that his meeting with Kim “went very well” and that Kim looked forward to meeting the U.S. president.

“Look forward to our meeting!” Trump wrote, while adding: “In the meantime, and unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!”

The White House said on Tuesday that North Korea’s denuclearization pledge was evidence that the U.S.-led pressure campaign to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons was working. (Reuters)

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<p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, in this picture released to Reuters on March 28, 2018. (Photo: Ju Peng/Xinhua via Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, in this picture released to Reuters on March 28, 2018. (Photo: Ju Peng/Xinhua via Reuters)

<p>News video footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping is seen on a large screen above a restaurant in Beijing on March 28, 2018. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was given a lavish welcome by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a secretive trip to Beijing as both sides try to repair frayed relations before Pyongyang’s landmark summits with Seoul and Washington. (Photo: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

News video footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping is seen on a large screen above a restaurant in Beijing on March 28, 2018. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was given a lavish welcome by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a secretive trip to Beijing as both sides try to repair frayed relations before Pyongyang’s landmark summits with Seoul and Washington. (Photo: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles during a banquet in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles during a banquet in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters)

<p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and wife Ri Sol Ju, and Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan attend a banquet in Beijing, China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and wife Ri Sol Ju, and Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan attend a banquet in Beijing, China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters)

<p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and wife Ri Sol Ju, and Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan walk together in Beijing, China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and wife Ri Sol Ju, and Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan walk together in Beijing, China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters)

<p>The front pages of Chinese evening newspapers, showing images of China’s President Xi Jinping with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, are displayed at a newspaper stand in Beijing on March 28, 2018. (Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

The front pages of Chinese evening newspapers, showing images of China’s President Xi Jinping with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, are displayed at a newspaper stand in Beijing on March 28, 2018. (Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un toasts with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28,2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un toasts with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28,2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters)

<p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks in Beijing as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks in Beijing as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters)

<p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping inspect honor guards in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping inspect honor guards in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters)

<p>In this photo released Wednesday, March 28, 2018 by China’s Xinhua News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, and his wife Ri Sol Ju, visit an exhibition highlighting achievements by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. (Photo: Yao Dawei/Xinhua via AP) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

In this photo released Wednesday, March 28, 2018 by China’s Xinhua News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, and his wife Ri Sol Ju, visit an exhibition highlighting achievements by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. (Photo: Yao Dawei/Xinhua via AP)

<p>In an undated photo released March 28 2018 by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C-L) and his wife Ri Sol-ju (L) meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (C-R) and his wife Peng Liyuan as they visit the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China. (Photo: KCNA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

In an undated photo released March 28 2018 by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C-L) and his wife Ri Sol-ju (L) meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (C-R) and his wife Peng Liyuan as they visit the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China. (Photo: KCNA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

<p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves from a train, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyan, March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves from a train, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyan, March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters)

<p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28,2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28,2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters)

<p>This picture from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) taken on March 27, 2018 and released on March 28, 2018 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju posing for a picture in Beijing. (Photo: KCNA VIA KNS AFP/Getty Images) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

This picture from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) taken on March 27, 2018 and released on March 28, 2018 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju posing for a picture in Beijing. (Photo: KCNA VIA KNS AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Two security guards watch near the Tiananmen Square in Beijing on March 27, 2018. (Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

Two security guards watch near the Tiananmen Square in Beijing on March 27, 2018. (Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A view of the motorcade in Beijing as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

A view of the motorcade in Beijing as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28, 2018. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters)

<p>Security personnel take position along Beijing’s main east-west thoroughfare, Changan Avenue, in Beijing, China, March 27, 2018. (Photo: Damir Sagolj/Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

Security personnel take position along Beijing’s main east-west thoroughfare, Changan Avenue, in Beijing, China, March 27, 2018. (Photo: Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

<p>A motorcade, foreground, arrives at Beijing Railway Station in Beijing Tuesday, March 27, 2018. (Photo: Kyodo News via AP) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

A motorcade, foreground, arrives at Beijing Railway Station in Beijing Tuesday, March 27, 2018. (Photo: Kyodo News via AP)

<p>A train believed to be carrying a senior North Korean delegation leaves the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, China March 27, 2018. (Photo: Jason Lee/Reuters) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

A train believed to be carrying a senior North Korean delegation leaves the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, China March 27, 2018. (Photo: Jason Lee/Reuters)

<p>A South Korean soldier, left, stands at the U.N. Command Military Armistice Commission meeting room as a North Korean soldier is seen through the window at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Park Jin-hee/Newsis via AP) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

A South Korean soldier, left, stands at the U.N. Command Military Armistice Commission meeting room as a North Korean soldier is seen through the window at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Park Jin-hee/Newsis via AP)

<p>A man watches a TV screen showing file footages of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on March 27, 2018. Increased activity at a North Korean nuclear site has once again caught the attention of analysts and renewed concerns about the complexities of denuclearization talks as President Donald Trump prepares for a summit with Kim Jong Un. (Photo: Lee Jin-man/AP) </p>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China

A man watches a TV screen showing file footages of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on March 27, 2018. Increased activity at a North Korean nuclear site has once again caught the attention of analysts and renewed concerns about the complexities of denuclearization talks as President Donald Trump prepares for a summit with Kim Jong Un. (Photo: Lee Jin-man/AP)

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