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North Korea's Kim Jong-un. Photo: STR / AFP / Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un secretly visited China to meet with President Xi Jinping, Chinese state media has confirmed. The trip took place from March 25-28 (local time).

Why it matters: This was Kim's first trip outside North Korea since he took power in 2011, and his first meeting with a foreign head of state. The meeting also comes ahead of planned meetings with American and South Korean leaders.

  • What happened: Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan welcomed Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju for a banquet and they watched an art show, according to China's Xinhua News.
  • What Kim reportedly said: "The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace."
  • Xinhua News writes that Kim also expressed an openness to meeting with the U.S. during his visit.

Statement from the White House: "The Chinese government contacted the White House earlier on Tuesday to brief us on Kim Jong Un's visit to Beijing. The briefing included a personal message from President Xi to President Trump ... We see this development as further evidence that our campaign of maximum pressure is creating the appropriate atmosphere for dialogue with North Korea." 

Go deeper: Why Kim Jong-un would visit Beijing

Go deeper

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.

DHS to increase deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the international bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Acuña, Mexico. Officials are struggling to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation, forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande several times per day for basic necessities. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday announced plans to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti out of the small Texas border town Del Rio, starting as soon as Sunday.

Why it matters: Reports have emerged of more than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, crowded in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.