Xi Jinping Kim Jong Un Meeting
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in Beijing to hold his fourth meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The picture on the front pages of a Chinese daily shows the leaders holding hands after a successful dialogue in Beijing, March 28, 2018. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

Following an invitation by Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his fourth trip to China on Tuesday, which was also his birthday.

According to North Korean state media KCNA, Kim was accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju and top diplomats, including Kim Yong Chol, on this three-day visit to China. The trip would include a summit with Xi.

He arrived in China aboard his personal train, which resembles the one used by his father, Kim Jong Il during his visits to China and Russia in 2011, BBC reported.

Kim's Motorcade in Beijing
A vehicle in the motorcade of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is escorted in Beijing, Jan. 8, 2019. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

"He was warmly seen off by leading officials of the Party, government and armed forces organs at the railway station," KCNA reported.

Meanwhile, the presence of Chol, a facilitator in the U.S.-North Korea dialogue, has bolstered speculation that a second meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump was on the cards sometime in 2019. The two leaders met in Singapore in June to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Kim's visit also coincides with a troubled period between the U.S. and China, who are engaged in a trade war and are trying to reach an agreement in order to normalize the issue. During his New Year's Day speech, Kim had threatened to take an alternative path if the U.S. did not ease its sanctions imposed on North Korea.

Kim's Motorcade in Beijing Two
Vehicles in the motorcade of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are seen in Beijing, Jan. 8, 2019. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Beijing on Jan. 8 on an unannounced visit for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as preparations ramp up for an expected second summit with President Donald Trump. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

Commenting on the latest North Korea-China Summit, Harry J. Kazianis, Director of Defense Studies at the Washington-based Center for the National Interest, said in a statement emailed to media outlets, "Kim is eager to remind the Trump administration that he does have diplomatic and economic options besides what Washington and Seoul can offer."

The analyst added that observers should not be surprised with Kim's visit to China as Beijing could easily stifle the U.S.' maximum pressure strategy on North Korea, owing to the latter's external trade flow through the Chinese mainland.

"In fact, during his New Year’s Days speech, Kim's 'new way' that he referred to may well have been a veiled threat to move closer to Beijing. That should make America quite concerned," he said.

However, speaking to CNBC on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplayed the incident. He said that the two issues were not mutual.

"The Chinese have been very clear to us that these are separate issues," he said.

Pompeo also hailed China as a good partner in U.S. efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

"Their behavior has demonstrated that as well and we appreciate that. China has actually been a good partner in our efforts to reduce the risk to the world from North Korea's nuclear capability; I expect they will continue to do so," he said.