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

Apr 16, 2018, 04:46
Chinese official meets Kim Jong Un, ahead of inter-Korean summit

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 global sanctions against North Korea.

Mr Kim met Mr Song Tao, head of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee's worldwide department, who was leading an art troupe to a spring festival in the North's capital.

At the proposed meetings between Kim and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in in April, and the United States President, Donald Trump, in May, the leaders are expected to discuss the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The two exchanged "profound views on the important matters of mutual concern" and the global situation, KCNA said, without providing details.

Kim also said he wanted to "strengthen exchanges and cooperation" with China, according to Xinhua.

Song said it is an unswerving policy of the CPC and the Chinese government to preserve, consolidate and develop relations with the DPRK.

North Korea carried out a series of missile tests during 2017, which led to sanctions and criticism from the global community, particularly from US President Donald Trump.

Photos carried by the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed Chinese and North Korean officials in a massive banqueting hall with a mural of Kim and Xi shaking hands decorating one wall.

Since early in the morning people had been carrying flowers to the monuments of Kim Il Sung and his son and successor Kim Jong Il on Mansu hill in the center of Pyongyang.

Song is heading a delegation that arrived in Pyongyang on Friday which includes an art troupe taking part in the April Spring Friendship Art Festival. China has sent art troupes to every festival since 1986, except in 2016.

There were all kinds of festive events in commemoration of North Korea's late founder, such as art exibitions and concerts.

The troupe performed on Saturday at the Mansudae Art Theatre, and North Korean leader Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju watched a ballet, "Giselle", performed by the National Ballet of China, but Kim was not present, the KCNA said.

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