A leading Japanese daily says North Korean leader Kim Jong-un requested economic cooperation from China when he met with President Xi Jinping late last month in Beijing. 

According to the Asahi Shimbun on Tuesday, Kim also asked for China’s support in terms of a security guarantee, including securing the North’s regime and easing military threats, ahead of Pyongyang’s respective summits with Seoul and Washington. 

The paper quoted a source who had contact with a liaison officer charged with North Korea affairs in the Communist Party of China. 

The daily said details on the economic cooperation requested by Kim were not specified. However, the report said such cooperation likely includes assistance in energy and already planned projects, such as designing special economic zones near the North Korea-China border.