North Korean leader Kim visits China, meets Xi

BEIJING, May 8 (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the Chinese city of Dalian this week and met President Xi Jinping, the official Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday.

During his visit on Monday and Tuesday, Kim told Xi he hoped relevant parties would take "phased" and "synchronised" measures to realise denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.

Xi hosted a banquet and told Kim of his support for North Korea's strategic shift towards economic development, Xinhua added.

The visit, part of a flurry of diplomatic engagement that has dramatically eased tension on the Korean peninsula, follows Kim's recent historic summit with South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, and precedes a planned meet with U.S. President Donald Trump.

It also followed Kim's dramatic train journey to Beijing in March, his fist known trip abroad since assuming power in 2011.

(Reporting by Tony Munroe and Michael Martina Editing by Robert Birsel and Clarence Fernandez)