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Chinese envoy stresses 'steadily developing friendly relations between Beijing and Pyongyang' Updated: 2017-11-19 09:10:17 KST


Not just the Chinese media, but even North Korea's state-operated news media reported the meeting as the top story.
Song Tao, the Chinese special envoy to Pyongyang, met with Choe Ryong-hae, a senior official of the regime, on Friday.
According to Korean Central News Agency's Saturday Report, Song asserted that it's the Communist Party of China's stance to quote "steadily develop the traditional friendly relations between the two parties and countries."
The report added that Song conveyed a gift for Kim Jong-un to Choe.
And while nothing is confirmed, diplomatic sources say the Chinese envoy may meet with the North Korean leader during his trip, to deliver President Xi Jinping's personal letter.
Song's visit to Pyongyang comes amid tense relations between the two traditional allies over North Korea's continued nuclear and missile provocations.
On paper, the Chinese government says the objective of the Chinese envoy's visit to North Korea is to inform the North of the outcome of the recent party congress of the CPC, which cemented President Xi's reign over the next five years.
However, observers are predicting such a move might be China trying to start up its diplomatic arbitration again,. especially as Pyongyang has not conducted a provocation in more than 60 days.
Another thing to note is that Song's trip to Pyongyang is taking place just over a week after the summit between Chinese President Xi and U.S. President Trump in Beijing.
Regarding China sending an envoy to North Korea, Trump expressed his expectations for the meeting,. tweeting that it's a big move and that he anticipates seeing what happens.
However, in its editorial, China's state-owned Global Times warned against hastily making any assumptions or conclusions, saying quote "Song is not a magician," and that it's up to Washington and Pyongyang to deescalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
And while it has been expected that Song will return to Beijing on Monday, the Global Times said his itinerary in Pyongyang is subject to change.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News.
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