Kim Jong-un of North Korea Fetes Chinese Envoy as Ties Warm

Kim Jong-un of North Korea Fetes Chinese Envoy as Ties Warm

The two countries' relations had been icy since China complied with worldwide sanctions against trade with North Korea past year in response to nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

(G.N.S) DT.15 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un personally greeted senior Chinese diplomat Song Tao in Pyongyang today, state media reported.

Kim met Song Tao, the head of the Communist Party of China's International Department, on Saturday, and the two exchanged "profund views on the important matters of mutual concern", Efe quoted the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying.

North Korea on Sunday marked the 106th anniversary of the birth of its late founder Kim Il Sung with no signs of provocations towards the worldwide community amid a reduction in tensions following Pyongyang's shift toward diplomacy.

Marking the two sides' efforts to boost their ties, Song arrived in the North on Friday, with the cultural delegation, to participate in the April Spring Friendship Art Festival, which commemorates regime founder Kim Il Sung's birth on Apr. 15. Kim's wife, Ri Sol-ju, attended.

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The KCNA said that Kim and Song had in-depth discussions and exchanged views on the "important matters" of mutual concern and the worldwide situation.

As he accorded warm hospitality to Song, Kim remembered his recent visit to China.

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. Sent by President Xi Jinping to discuss the outcome of China's 19th Party Congress, Song had returned home without meeting Kim Jong-un.

China is North Korea's strongest economic and military ally, but their relationship cooled after Beijing joined sanctions past year.

Song also suggested that Seoul, Beijing, and Moscow establish a cooperative body to effectively develop border areas after peace settles on the Korean Peninsula. There were no posters of missiles or militarist slogans, which is believed to be connected with the upcoming talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in next week, as well as Kim's meeting with US President Donald Trump, scheduled for early June.

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