Chinese state news agency Xinhua later confirmed that Kim was visiting China from January 7 to January 10.
The KCNA dispatch came after South Korean media reported late Monday that Kim may be on his way to Beijing aboard a special train for his summit with Xi.
The train had been due to arrive in Beijing around 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Since emerging onto the world stage in the past year, Kim has mended previously strained ties with neighbor and key ally China, and made sure Xi has been kept in the loop.
Kim held three summits a year ago with Xi, his most important ally, before and after summits with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
At the Singapore summit Kim and Trump signed a vaguely-worded pledge about the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but progress has since stalled amid disagreements over what that means, with meetings and visits cancelled at short notice.
Recently, Washington has been creating the atmosphere for another North Korea-U.S. summit.
Tuesday was Kim's 35th birthday, according to South Korea's Unification Ministry, although the date hasn't been confirmed by North Korea.
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Kim was accompanied by party, government and military officials, including Kim Yong-chol, a key nuclear negotiator with the United States, and Ri Yong-ho and No Kwang-chol, the country's foreign and defense ministers, respectively, according to the KCNA. "It is not a choice but a duty for North Korean diplomats to come to [South] Korea".
Kim's regime, however, has been bogged down by global sanctions caused by past nuclear and missile tests.
Still, the North Korean leader is already refraining from putting all of his eggs in one basket, saying in his New Year's address that, despite the stalled talks, he was willing to meet Trump again at any time to produce results "welcomed by the global community".
North Korea wishes to deal directly with Trump, skipping lower-level meetings so that it can reach a deal that "freezes" rather than eliminates its nuclear weapons, Shin added.
This is Kim's first foreign trip of the year and his fourth overall to China.
Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, said Kim would be seeking Chinese support and help with respect to the policy direction outlined in his New Year's Day Address, while trying to strengthen Pyongyang's position going into another possible summit with Trump.
Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a North Korea specialist at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, said Europe offered a "more open, safer environment" for North Korean officials to discuss sensitive issues and consider defection.