China says Xi met with North Korea's Kim
BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on reports of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and a high-ranking North Korean official (all times local):
China says President Xi Jinping has met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a northern Chinese port city.
The meeting, held Monday and Tuesday in Dalian, is the second between the two men in recent weeks, following Kim's March visit to Beijing, his first since taking power six years ago.
China is North Korea's only major ally, although trade between them has plummeted in recent months as Beijing enforces United Nations economic sanctions in response to the North's nuclear bomb and ballistic missile tests.
The meeting between Xi and Kim comes as the North Korean leader prepares to hold a historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.
China has been eager to assert its importance in the process of lowering tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Media reports Tuesday said Chinese President Xi Jinping may have met with a high-ranking North Korean official in the Chinese port city of Dalian amid tight security and the spotting of a North Korean airliner at the city's airport.
South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have been aboard the plane, although it cited no direct evidence.
Japan's Kyodo News service said the plane departed on Tuesday.
Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper cited two unidentified sources as saying that Xi had flown to Dalian on the coast east of Beijing to meet with the official as well as to preside over the official launch of sea trials for China's first entirely self-built aircraft carrier.