China President Xi Jinping on Thursday will make his first visit to North Korea to meet with leader Kim Jong Un.

"Both sides will exchange views on the (Korean) peninsula situation, and push for new progress in the political resolution of the peninsula issue," Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said.  

The Korean Peninsula has been divided since 1948 between the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People's Republic Of Korea (North Korea). The two countries have been engaged in an armed standoff since the end of the Korean war in 1953, which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. 

The two leaders meet amid a trade war between the United States and China along with global criticism of North Korea's nuclear activities. 

"This will be the first visit of a Chinese leader to North Korea in 15 years," Abraham M. Denmark, director of the Asia Program at the Washington D.C.-based Wilson Center think tank said. "It is unclear what Xi's intentions may be for the trip, but it is clear that a trip to Pyongyang will give Kim's political status a boost both domestically and internationally." 

Kim has faced recent setbacks, such as a failure to carry out a denuclearization deal with the U.S. this past February. 

Xi will meet Japanese president Shinzo Abe next week as part of the G20 summit in Osaka. The two countries have had improving ties in recent years, and will likely discuss Trump's tariffs along with security in the East Asia region.