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etvfutures.com April 22, 2018


In sign of thaw, Kim meets senior Chinese diplomat

15 April 2018, 10:24 | Opal Carroll

North Korea's Kim greets Chinese official, calls for stronger ties

Kim-jong un with Chinese officials

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Chinese senior diplomat Song Tao and feted a Chinese art troupe led by Song, North Korean state media said on Sunday, indicating closer ties with China after Kim's surprise visit to Beijing last month.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, left, with Song Tao, head of the Chinese Communist Party's International Department, in Pyongyang on Saturday, in a picture released by the Korean Central News Agency on Sunday.

"According to the report, Kim expressed satisfaction with the meeting, saying he will "take the North Korea-China friendship to a whole new level, in line with new generational demands" by strengthening exchanges between high-level officials as well as cooperation and visits in various sectors".

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. The presidential body aims at expanding ties with northern countries, such as China, Russia and possibly North Korea.

This time around, Song promised "a fresh contribution to promoting the prolonged and stable development of the China-DPRK relations".

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.

Burma repatriates first Rohingya family despite United Nations warnings
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) estimated that at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the first month of the crackdown alone. Many Rohingya refugees say they fear returning to a country where they saw their relatives murdered by soldiers.


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

Kim hosted a dinner banquet for Song and the art troupe on Saturday in Pyongyang, where North Korea's Samjiyon Orchestra played music and Song and Choe Ryong-hae, vice chairman of the Workers' Party's Central Committee, made a toast to improve North-China relations, the KCNA reported.

China is North Korea's strongest economic and military ally, but their relationship cooled after Beijing joined sanctions past year. He said that that will contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.

When nuclear-armed North Korea put on a flower show past year to celebrate the birthday of its founder Kim Il Sung, scale model rockets were on display.

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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