Monday, 21 May, 2018

In sign of thaw, Kim meets senior Chinese diplomat

Kim Jong Un meets senior Chinese official Kim Jong-un of North Korea Fetes Chinese Envoy as Ties Warm
Sammy Stanley | 15 April, 2018, 22:46

State-run television aired footage of Kim's meeting with Song Tao, the chief of China's Communist Party's International Department, in Pyongyang on Saturday.

In late March, Kim made a rare visit to Beijing and met Xi, Kim's first known journey overseas since he took power in 2011.

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.

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 global community amid a reduction in tensions following Pyongyang's shift toward diplomacy. On Saturday, the National Ballet of China staged a performance of "Giselle" at the Mansudae Art Theatre in Pyongyang.

Kremlin Spokesman Warns Against Syria Strike
And as recently as March 29, Trump mulled ending US military action in Syria now that the Islamic State's presence and power there is decimated.

"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". Late last month, Kim Jong Un held a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing during his first foreign trip since becoming North Korea's leader following the death of his father.

Song also met the North's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee Vice Chairman Ri Su-young to discuss ways to develop bilateral relations, Yonhap reported. 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.

Sunday marked the 106th birthday of North Korea's late founder Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong-un's grandfather, but the regime kept its celebrations low-key this year, refraining from launching a ballistic missile or holding a military parade as in the past.

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