A North Korean Workers Party of Korea (WPK) delegation met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, the third time Xi has met with DPRK officials since late March.
China’s state-run Xinhua news service and North Korean media called the DPRK’s delegation a “friendship visiting group.”
“China backs the improvement of inter-Korean ties, the advancement of dialogue between the DPRK and the United States, and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Xi said in comments carried by Xinhua.
“China supports the DPRK in developing its economy and improving its people’s livelihood, and supports Chairman Kim in leading the Party and the people of DPRK to take a development path suitable to its own national situation.”
The DPRK delegation was led by Pak Thae Song, member of the Political Bureau and vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee with other “senior provincial and municipal level party officials” also in attendance.
According to the NK Pro leadership tracker, Pak regularly attends events or guidance visits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with the most recent mention coming on February 16 when he accompanied Kim to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.
Xinhua added the North Korean delegation wanted to learn from China’s experience regarding economic development, and continue implementing the strategies agreed upon by Xi and Kim in their recent meetings.
“This (meeting) embodies the great importance Chairman Kim and the WPK Central Committee have attached to enhancing exchanges between the two parties and the two countries, and deepening China-DPRK friendly cooperation,” Xi said.
The North Korean leader paid two surprise visits to China in recent months, first meeting Xi in Beijing and later in the border city of Dalian.
Kim’s visits abroad indicated an apparent shift in Pyongyang’s diplomatic posture, though momentum may have recently stalled with the DPRK threatening to cancel an upcoming summit with U.S. President Donald Trump scheduled for June 12.
But Washington later dismissed the threat saying that it will continue planning the summit as before.
Speaking before a meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Wednesday, Trump added that Washington had not been notified of a cancellation and “we’ll have to see,” if the summit goes ahead.
The DPRK also suspended high-level meetings with Seoul scheduled for Wednesday, citing joint U.S. – ROK aerial combat drills and calling them a pretext for invasion.
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Featured Image: Xi Jinping by theglobalpanorama on 2014-07-30 18:56:20