Global News

China hails 'friendship' with N Korea, urges closer ties

China hails 'friendship' with N Korea, urges closer ties

The department said in a statement that Song briefed Choe on the outcome of the recently concluded Communist Party Congress in China, and then the two senior figures talked about ties between their parties and countries. He later expressed his expectation for the dispatching of the Chinese envoy by tweeting: "A big move, we'll see what happens!" Mr. Song was expected to convey a message from Mr. Xi to North Korea to join negotiations to halt its nuclear programme.

CHINA has dispatched a special envoy to North Korea for the first time in years in a bid to curb tyrant Kim Jong-un's growing ambition of becoming a nuclear power.

North Korea is under heavy global pressure to end its nuclear and missile programs, pursued in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, but has vowed never to give up its nuclear arsenal which it says it needs to counter perceived USA aggression.

She returned to South Korea after a six-day visit to Washington and NY for meetings with US officials, lawmakers and scholars, as well as to attend various events.

China, North Korea's largest trading partner, says its influence with Mr Kim's government is often exaggerated by the USA and others.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) confirmed the report of meeting between the two officials, saying that Song informed Choe about China's 19th National Congress "in detail", and stressed China's stance to "develop the traditional friendly relations between the two parties and countries".

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Song, who arrived in Pyongyang on Friday, met with North Korean official Choe Ryong-hae on the same day and senior party leader Ri Su-yong the following day.

The two sides "exchanged their views on such matters of mutual concern as the situation of the Korean Peninsula and region and bilateral relations", reported the KCNA that day. Beijing is opposed to measures that could bring down Mr Kim's regime and lead to a refugee crisis along its border, and while enforcing harsh new United Nations sanctions targeting North Korea's sources of foreign currency it has called for steps to renew dialogue.

Song will be the first Chinese envoy to make an official trip to North Korea since October 2016.

"The key to easing the situation on the peninsula lies in the hands of Washington and Pyongyang".

The trip came after Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump held a summit in Beijing last Thursday. "If both sides insist on their own logic and refuse to move in the same direction, even if Song opens a door for talks, the door could be closed anytime".