Kim Jong Un’s secret trip to China was full of gourmet food, wine, and music — take a look inside the lavish visit

Kim Jong Un toasts his visit 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.

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Kim Jong Un toasts his visit 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.
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KCNA/via Reuters

Kim Jong Un secretly visited Beijing this week for top-level meetings with Chinese president Xi Jinping – and it turns out it was a lavish and luxuriant affair.

While China touted this as an “unofficial visit,” photos released on Wednesday by state news agency KCNA showed a grand trip filled with gourmet meals, wine, and performances.

Take a look inside the opulent visit:


Kim Jong Un arrived in Beijing in an armoured train on Monday. It’s not clear whether this was his first stop in China. Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported that a “special train” passed through Dandong, a Chinese city on North Korea’s border.

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It’s not clear whether this photo was taken when Kim arrived or departed Beijing.
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KCNA/Reuters

Source: Kyodo News


Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, greeted Kim and his wife, Ri Sol Ju. This was Kim’s first overseas trip since becoming North Korean leader, and the first time Xi and Kim met face to face.

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From left to right: Ri Sol Ju, Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, and Peng Liyuan.
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KCNA/via Reuters

Xi and Kim also inspected honour guards — a common practice during state visits, even though that’s not what China called it.

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KCNA/via Reuters

South Korean TV on Wednesday broadcast footage of Xi showing Kim around a garden.

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Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

The Chinese and North Korean leaders also sat down for tea with their wives…

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KCNA/via Reuters

… and posed for an official photo.

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KCNA/Reuters

The Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, a large hotel complex often used by foreign state visitors, was particularly tightly guarded during Kim’s visit. The presence of military honour guards suggests that’s where Kim stayed, but we don’t know for sure.


The North Koreans also travelled around Beijing in a massive motorcade, involving police on motorbikes and a limousine, which disrupted traffic around the capital. Stephen McDonell, the BBC’s China correspondent, tweeted this video on Monday.


Police continued to block Beijing roads on Tuesday.


Here are more police officers on motorbikes next to Tiananmen Square. We don’t know whether they went there.

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KCNA/Reuters

The North Koreans and Chinese delegates were also treated to an opulent, multi-course dinner with red wine and fruits. It looks like it was held in the Great Hall of the People. Kim and Xi sat together, and were flanked by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the leaders’ wives.

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KCNA/Reuters

Here’s a zoomed-in photo of one of the courses they were served. Guests were given chopsticks, as well as a Western soup spoon, crockery for two courses, and a butter plate and knife. They were also given their own small dishes. It’s not clear what the food is.

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KCNA/Reuters

Other courses were covered with a yellow cloche with a golden handle. Kim appears to be drinking orange juice along with his wine.

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KCNA/via Reuters

The North Korean and Chinese leaders, and their wives, seemed to enjoy themselves. Here they are apparently laughing at something Kim said. Their aides, potentially translators, seated behind the dinner guests, are also smiling.

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KCNA/via Reuters

Kim and Xi also toasted each other at some point during the meal — Xi with red wine, and Kim with what looks like white wine.

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KCNA/via Reuters

After the crockery was cleared and dessert was brought out, the lights appeared to turn red, and male and female performers, probably a choir, came out.

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KCNA/via Reuters

Kim and Xi also posed for photos with other performers on a stage in the same room. Judging from their outfits, this was just after dinner.

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KCNA/via Reuters

The location of the banquet, which wasn’t identified by KCNA, looked like the Great Hall of the People — where the Chinese hosted Trump on his state visit last November. Here Chinese and US officials watch a video of Arabella Kushner, Trump’s granddaughter, perform a Chinese song.

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Thomas Peter/Reuters

The Kim and Xi families also enjoyed a more intimate meal at some point. The server on the left appears to be holding a jug of orange juice.

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KCNA/Reuters

The trip wasn’t all fun and games, though. Although China insisted that the visit was “unofficial,” Xi and Kim held some high-level meetings. They reportedly discussed denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula and Pyongyang’s relationship with China, South Korea, and the US.

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Xi and Kim are sat facing each other in the middle.
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KCNA/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


Kim and his wife, Ri, also made some time to tour the city. Here they are at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. A massive quote by Xi Jinping is on the wall behind them.

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KCNA/via Reuters

North Korea’s first couple also looked at this model exhibition.

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KCNA/Reuters

Kim also gave a speech at some point.

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KCNA/Reuters

All in all, this seemed like a good trip for both China and North Korea. Xi said, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency: “Both Comrade Chairman [Kim] and I have personally experienced and witnessed the development of China-DPRK relationship.”

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Xinhua News via Twitter