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High-Level Chinese Diplomat Visits North Korea, First Since Pandemic

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Zhao Leji, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, arrives in Pyongyang. 

Zhao Leji, who ranks third in China’s official hierarchy and is the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, arrived in Pyongyang on the afternoon of the 11th, starting his visit to North Korea.

According to APTN footage, Chairman Zhao arrived at Pyongyang Sunan Airport on an Air China flight that afternoon, where he was greeted by Choe Ryong Hae, the Chairman of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly.

Chairman Zhao descended the stairs connected to the aircraft and warmly shook hands with Chairman Choe, who introduced him to high-ranking North Korean officials.

Chairman Zhao also introduced a delegation of about ten party and government representatives, including Chinese Communist Party International Liasion Department Minister Liu Jianchao and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Ma Zhaoxu, who had arrived earlier, to Chairman Choe.

Chairman Zhao is the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit North Korea since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

From today until the 13th, Chairman Zhao will officially visit North Korea, attending the opening ceremony of the North Korea-China Friendship Year and other official events. During this visit, he is anticipated to also meet with North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un.

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