Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Kim Jong-un meets Chinese delegation

Kim Jong-un meets Chinese delegation

The North's state-run media gave extensive coverage on Sunday to leader Kim Jong Un's meeting with a senior Chinese official, as the country celebrated the anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung.

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".

The meeting suggests stronger bilateral ties after Kim Jong-un made a surprise visit to Beijing last month and met Chinese President Xi Jinping in his first trip outside the country as North Korea's leader.

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

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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.

This time around, Song promised "a fresh contribution to promoting the prolonged and stable development of the China-DPRK relations". On Saturday, the National Ballet of China staged a performance of "Giselle" at the Mansudae Art Theatre in Pyongyang.

"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.

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

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Song met several North Korean officials, including Choe, but not Kim.

Observers say the media coverage on the birthday of the country's late founder and Kim Jong Un's grandfather underscores the North's intentions to strengthen ties with China ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the United States.

Kim will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27 at the border between the two countries, and US President Donald Trump in May or early June at a yet-to-be determined venue.

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