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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

14 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

16 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.