Chinese official meets Kim Jong Un, ahead of inter-Korean summit

16 Abril, 2018, 00:59 | Author: Kelly Blake
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North Korea's state broadcaster Korean Central Television said Sunday that Song Tao, who leads the Chinese Communist Party's International Department, held a meeting with Kim on Saturday to "exchange in-depth opinions on areas of mutual interest including major issues and world order".

A high-ranking Beijing official met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while leading a group of Chinese performers to Pyongyang, in apparent attempts to strengthen bilateral ties.

This time, Beijing sent Mr. Song and an art troupe to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, to attend an worldwide art festival.

North Korea's relationship with its sole ally during the 1950-1953 Korean war had strained when China pushed United Nations to punish Pyongyang for its nuclear weapons programme.

KCNA said the North Korean leader expressed his satisfaction at the recent improvement of bilateral relations with China.

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'He said with deep emotion that the Chinese comrades accorded cordial hospitality to him with utmost sincerity in token of warm comradely friendship during his recent unforgettable visit to China, ' the KCNA said. In attendance were China's ambassador to North Korea, Li Jinjun, and other diplomats from the embassy, as well as Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un's younger sister and first vice director of the Workers' Party's Central Committee, and other top-ranking North Korean officials.

Song's latest trip to Pyongyang is in sharp contrast to his visit in November a year ago.

Kim made his first visit to China in March, in a secret trip that reopened ties between the two governments after years of strained relations due to Beijing's opposition to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme and support of worldwide sanctions against North Korea.

Pyongyang is on a charm offensive accompanying the sudden diplomatic rapprochement on the peninsula, with a summit due later this month between leader Kim Jong Un and the South's President Moon Jae-in.

North Korea and China seem to be celebrating closer ties, with Kim Jong Un putting on a banquet today.

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