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."