World

Kim Meets Four World Leaders In Just Three Months After Years Of Isolation

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
Font Size:

The past three months have been a kind of coming out party for the leader of the so-called “hermit kingdom.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made several trips abroad and met four foreign leaders since March, a remarkable change for a leader that had not left home or met another head of state since he took power a little over six years ago.

Kim, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju, secretly made a state visit to Beijing in late March to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. (RELATED: Kim Jong Un Met Xi Jinping In China) 

The North Korean leader then visited Dalian in May. (RELATED: Kim Jong Un Visits China … Again)

Kim took an interest in Chinese development and economic reform practices, as well as opportunities for the improvement of bilateral relations between China and North Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with China's President Xi Jinping, in Dalian, China in this undated photo released on May 9, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA/via REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with China’s President Xi Jinping, in Dalian, China in this undated photo released on May 9, 2018 by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA/via REUTERS

The North Korean leader has twice met his South Korean counterpart President Moon Jae-in, once on South Korean soil and again in North Korea. During both meetings, the two Korean leaders embraced one another as friends, despite years of tension. (RELATED: North, South Korean Leaders Hold Surprise Meeting)

During the meeting, Kim and Moon discussed economic development, with the latter offering Kim a plan for North Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, in this handout picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 27, 2018. KCNA/via REUTERS

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, in this handout picture released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 27, 2018. KCNA/via REUTERS

After Kim arrived in Singapore Sunday, he met with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. (RELATED: Kim Jong Un Arrives In Singapore For Summit With Trump)

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore, June 10, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. SINGAPORE'S MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION/via REUTERS

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore, June 10, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. SINGAPORE’S MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION/via REUTERS

During his stay in Singapore, Kim took a tour of the country, expressing admiration for its development. (RELATED: Kim Jong Un Is Out On The Town And Taking Selfies In Singapore)

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un visits Singapore in this picture released on June 11, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency. KCNA via REUTERS

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un visits Singapore in this picture released on June 11, 2018 by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency. KCNA via REUTERS

Now, Kim is meeting face-to-face with President Donald Trump at a historic summit, where the topics on the table are expected to include denuclearization, security, and improved ties. (RELATED: President Trump And Kim Jong Un Meet For The First Time At Singapore Summit)

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Kim is the murderous head of a brutal and repressive prison state, but his charm offensive, which began at the start of the year, appears aimed at reshaping his international image. Kim has received rock star treatment in Singapore, and many observers have commented on his deft skills as a statesman. The North Korean leader has reportedly made a commitment to denuclearization; however, a prevailing view is that Kim actually seeks recognition as the leader of a nuclear-armed state.

The world will likely know more about the North Korean leader’s intentions once Trump and Kim conclude their meeting.

“He is a confident, young leader,” Prime Minister Lee said of Kim, adding, “I think he wants to go on to a new path. What he is prepared to deal, and how the agreement can be worked out – well that is a complicated matter. I think he has an intention to do something, and that is why he is meeting Donald Trump.”

Follow Ryan on Twitter

Send tips to ryan@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.