Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi will visit the North Korean capital on a three-day trip starting on September 2, Beijing announced on Friday.
The visit comes roughly two months after the fifth DPRK-PRC summit in Pyongyang when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to “maintain the tradition of high-level exchange” and “deepen exchanges and cooperation.”
“At the invitation of Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit the DPRK from September 2 to 4,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.
The foreign ministry said Wang’s upcoming visit was a follow up on the agreements made at the recent Pyongyang summit.
“The upcoming visit by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi is an important follow-up step to implement consensus at the highest level between our two parties and countries and to advance bilateral relations,” Shuang said.
“During the visit, State Councilor Wang will hold talks with Foreign Minister Ri.”
Despite North Korea’s recent spate of missile launches and possible backsliding in negotiations with Washington and Seoul, Beijing said the situation on the Korean Peninsula was “in a state of amelioration.”
“We hope that parties concerned will strengthen contact and communication, meet each other halfway, follow the dual-track approach in a phased and synchronized manner,” the foreign ministry spokesperson added.
Wang’s visit comes on the heels of a top North Korean military official’s recent trip to China, with South Korean and Japanese media reporting on August 16 that Kim Su Gil was headed to Beijing.
Although Wang was part of the Chinese delegation to the DPRK alongside Xi in June, he hasn’t led a diplomatic visit to Pyongyang since May last year.
During his previous visit, North Korean media gave a positive account of Wang’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“At the meeting there were wide-ranging and in-depth exchanges of opinions on the matter of comprehensively carrying forward and developing in depth the unity and traditional friendly and cooperative relations,” an article published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reads.
“Kim Jong Un expressed great satisfaction over the excellent talk with Wang Yi which reconfirmed the views of the DPRK and China on important issues and exchanged opinions on them.”
More recently, North Korea’s foreign minister traveled to Beijing in December last year to meet with his Chinese counterpart.
According to DPRK media, the two sides “recalled that a new heyday of the friendly relations” between Pyongyang and Beijing and noted developments in “exchange and cooperation.”
Outside of the recent summits between the two countries, Wang’s most recent discussions with a high ranking North Korean official came in February, when Wang met DPRK vice foreign minister Ri Kil Song.
“At the talks both sides exchanged views on the issue of boosting exchange and cooperation in each field in this significant year by putting into practice the important understanding shared by the supreme leaders,” a KCNA article published at the time reads.