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North Korean Leader and Chinese Official Hold Talks on Deepening Ties

Daniel Kim Views  

김정은 북한 국무위원장이 북한을 방문한 중국 공산당 서열 3위 자오러지(趙樂際) 전국인민대표대회(전인대) 상무위원장을 지난 13일 접견하고 '조중(북중) 친선의 해'를 계기로 친선 협조 관계를 발전시키기 위한 교류와 협력의 확대·강화하는 방안 등을 논의했다고 조선중앙통신이 14일 보도했다.ⓒ조선중앙통신

ⓒKorean Central News Agency

During his visit to North Korea, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with China’s Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Zhao Leji.

According to Yonhap News, on the 14th, the Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim met with the Chinese Party and government delegation that officially visited North Korea to commemorate the ‘Year of North Korea-China Friendship.’

Kim emphasized, “The visit to Pyongyang by the Chinese party and government delegation demonstrates the invincibility of North Korea-China friendship and carries significant implications for further strengthening and developing the traditional friendly cooperative relations of the two countries in line with the demands of the times.”

He further stated, “It is our consistent position to continue to develop the North Korea-China friendship, which has a long historical tradition through the centuries and generations. We look forward to the firm tradition of friendship leading to the responsible progress and fruitful results of the ‘Year of North Korea-China Friendship.'”

According to the news agency, Kim and Zhao “sincerely discussed important issues of mutual concern and ways to expand and strengthen multi-faceted exchanges and cooperation to elevate the friendly cooperative relationship into a more vibrant bond.”

Kim hosted a banquet for the delegation, attended by party secretaries Jo Yong Won and Ri Il Hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui, Party International Department Head Kim Song Nam, and Party Vice Department Director Kim Yo Jong.

Although not mentioned in the report, there is interest in the possibility that  Kim’s visit to China was discussed on the occasion of  Zhao’s visit to North Korea. Zhao is the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit North Korea since President Xi Jinping’s visit in June 2019.

Kim’s last visit to China was in January 2019, which marked the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. North Korea closed its borders in January 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in December of the previous year. It wasn’t until August of last year, three years and seven months later, that the border was reopened, officially approving the return of North Korean residents who had been staying in China.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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