Donald Trump has announced that Washington's chief diplomat, Mike Pompeo, is on his way to North Korea to prepare for a landmark nuclear summit between the United States president and his North Korea counterpart, Kim Jong-un.
They held talks about Chinese-North Korean relations, according to CNN's Will Ripley.
Trump has tested the Supreme Leader of North Korea over Twitter before, openly mocking him over his weight and referring to Kim as "Rocket Man".
Both U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim were supposed to announce the date and place of their first summit by now.
Shortly after Xinhua's announcement, Trump tweeted that he would be talking to his "friend" Xi in the next hour.
Speculation was ripe on Monday and Tuesday that Kim may have visited the Chinese city amid tightened security in Dalian, with Japanese media reporting that an airplane normally used by North Korean VIPs had arrived in Dalian.
Chinese media confirmed that Kim had visited and met with Xi, according to Reuters' Josh Smith.
His trip was kept secret until he returned to North Korea.
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The pair reportedly met in Dalian, where Xi will attend a ceremony launching the country's first domestically-built aircraft carrier. What we had none of was the enthusiasm expressed by the vast majority of the South Korean public-who, incidentally, have quite a bit more to lose if this is indeed all a sinister ploy.
North Korean state news media on Tuesday criticized Japan for continuing to support tough sanctions against the North, with Rodong Sinmun, the country's official newspaper, calling it "tantamount to throwing cold water over easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula".
The top leaders of China and North Korea have had a second meeting, close on the heels of their first summit from March 25-28.
In the past North Korea has used the term "hostile policies" in reference to the US troop presence in South Korea, the USA nuclear umbrella covering South Korea and Japan and regular joint military exercises in South Korea.
The timing of the Xi-Kim meeting allowed them to emphasize their shared interests ahead of the trilateral summit, and before a meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, expected in the next month or so.
In a cordial and friendly atmosphere, the two leaders had an all-round and in-depth exchange of views on China-North Korea relations and major issues of common concern, it said.
In the past, North Korean leaders have been reluctant to travel by air on global journeys, especially Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, who famously went everywhere in his personal armored train.
Posts about unusual traffic jams and security in Dalian popped up on Chinese social media. A status quo, it's worth noting, that means that the decades-long USA military presence in Korea will remain for decades more to come.