Attention on Chinese Envoy's Possible Meeting with Kim Jong

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Attention on Chinese Envoy's Possible Meeting with Kim Jong

China's special envoy on North Korea met high-ranking North Korean official Choe Ryong Hae after he arrived in the capital, Pyongyang, the North's official KCNA news agency said on Saturday. "He stressed the CPC's stand to steadily develop the traditional friendly relations between the two parties and countries".

"Song is not a magician", the newspaper said.

North Korea is under heavy worldwide pressure to end its nuclear and missile programs, pursued in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, but has vowed never to give up its nuclear arsenal which it says it needs to counter perceived USA aggression.

North Korea staged its sixth nuclear test on 3 September, detonating what it said was a hydrogen bomb, and most recently launched a ballistic missile on 15 September, firing it over the Japanese island of Hokkaido into the Pacific Ocean.

The trip comes about a week after US President Donald Trump held talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Beijing as part of his 5-nation tour of Asia and said they agreed to "increase economic pressure until North Korea abandons its reckless and risky path".

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun (R) answers questions from reporters following meeting with Japan and South Korea chief nuclear negotiators to talk about North Korean issues at the Iikura guest house in Tokyo, Japan April 25, 2017.

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Mr Song is the first ministerial-level Chinese official to visit North Korea since October 2015, when Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan delivered a letter to Mr Kim from Mr Xi expressing hopes for a strong relationship, although the respite in frosty ties proved short-lived. He would also convey the contents of Mr. Xi's discussions with Mr. Trump about North Korea, according to media reports.

China has previously pushed for a diplomatic solution to the crisis over North Korea; however, Pyongyang has so far ignored Beijing's calls to end its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and return to the negotiating table.

North Korea's last missile test was on September 15 but Lee and Yun did not seem to put much emphasis on the lull, Yonhap said, as they were unable to gauge its intentions. After he left Beijing, Mr. Trump tweeted that he was impressed with China's efforts to push for the de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has been under a raft of crippling United Nations sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear tests as well as multiple rocket and missile launches.

With the deployment of the U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea, both China and Russian Federation announced that their militaries will be holding anti-missile drills in Beijing next month.

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