North's Kim calls for stronger ties after personally greeting top Chinese official

Frederick Owens
April 16, 2018

He hosted a Chinese art troupe led by senior diplomat Song Tao, North Korean state media said.

Kim met Song Tao, the head of the Communist Party of China's International Department, on Saturday, and the two exchanged "profund views on the important matters of mutual concern", Efe quoted the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying.

"The Supreme Leader said that he would positively carry forward and develop the traditional DPRK-China friendship into a fresh phase of development as required by a new era", it added, using the North's official acronym.

Kim met Song Tao, head of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee's global department, who was leading an art troupe to a spring festival in the North's capital.

Song is leading a Chinese art troupe that has been in North Korea since Friday.

As he accorded warm hospitality to Song, Kim remembered his recent visit to China.

North Korea's relationship with its sole ally during the 1950-1953 Korean war had strained when China pushed United Nations to punish Pyongyang for its nuclear weapons programme.

More news: As US Mulls Options, Russia Says Priority Is to Avoid War

Kim on Saturday vowed to solidify the bond between North Korea's Workers' Party and China's Communist Party through high-level exchanges.

The art troupe performed on Saturday at the Mansudae Art Theatre, and the North Korean leader Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju watched a ballet 'Giselle, ' performed by the National Ballet of China, but Kim was not present, the KCNA said.

That contrasts with Song's last visit to Pyongyang last November, when he was sent as Xi's special enjoy to discuss the outcome of China's 19th Party Congress. Song returned to Beijing without meeting Kim.

The delegation arrived just weeks after Mr Kim made a surprise visit to Beijing and met Chinese President Xi Jinping, signalling an attempt by both leaders to shore up a key alliance ahead of a period of high-stakes diplomacy.

Song Young-gil, who heads the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation, met officials from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Charhar Institute, the committee said.

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.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER