Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

North Korea says China envoy stressed stance on developing relations: KCNA

11_17_THAAD North Korea says China envoy stressed stance on developing relations: KCNA
Lance Thomas | 20 November, 2017, 00:27

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.

Trump showed his expectation for China's sending of the envoy, tweeting that "A big move, we'll see what happens!".

China has repeatedly pushed for a diplomatic solution to the crisis over North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and missiles to carry them, but in recent months it has had only limited high-level exchanges with North Korea.

This photo, provided by The Associated Press on November 17, 2017 shows Song Tao, a special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Choe Ryong-hae, a senior North Korean party official, in Pyongyang.

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

Song's trip to Pyongyang follows U.S. President Donald Trump and President Xi's bilateral talks earlier this month and speculation that they may have reached some sort of breakthrough on an approach to the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Song has already visited Vietnam and Laos to inform them of the results of the congress, a typical courtesy China extends other communist countries after such important meetings.

The North's Rodong Sinmun has been reporting on the special envoy's visit, including a banquet held on Saturday, but there has been no mention of what was discussed or whether the special envoy will meet with the North Korean leader.

Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged messages of congratulations and thanks over the Chinese party congress, but neither leader has visited the other's country since assuming power.

"He stressed the CPC's stand to steadily develop the traditional friendly relations between the two parties and countries", the KCNA said. Though Beijing is yet to make an official announcement on the details of Song's tour since he arrived in North Korea, the state-run Global Times - which often reflects the administration's views - ran an editorial urging not to expect too much from the trip.

South Korea and the United States agreed on Friday to keep working for a peaceful end to the North Korean nuclear crisis, but a USA envoy said it was hard to gauge the reclusive North's intentions as there has been "no signal".

Seoul and Washington recently began domestic procedures to amend the five-year-old free trade agreement, known as KORUS, due to President Donald Trump's insistence it has widened the USA trade deficit with South Korea.

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

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