A senior official from North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party on Tuesday began a three-day visit to China, a move analysts said was part of Pyongyang’s efforts to break its diplomatic predicament amid UN sanctions.
Song Tao, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee, on Tuesday held talks with a visiting North Korean delegation led by Ri Su-yong, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The North Korean delegation briefed the Chinese side on the WPK’s seventh party congress held in early May, an event that analysts said consolidated the power of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Saying that inter-party exchanges should continue to be strengthened, the two sides said they highly value the traditional friendship between China and North Korea and expressed their willingness to develop bilateral relations and support regional peace and stability, Xinhua reported.
Marking the first time a top official from Pyongyang has visited China since the January nuclear test, Ri’s visit is part of Kim Jong-un’s diplomatic efforts to cast off the country’s current isolation, analysts said.
Calling the visit "routine inter-party exchanges," Dong Xiangrong, a research fellow at the National Institute of International Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that it is a "tentative" move [to repair China-North Korea relations].
"Diplomatic outreach has been at the top of Kim’s agenda as Pyongyang now faces rare challenges in terms of internal political stability," Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"For Pyongyang, possible diplomatic breakthroughs could only be made with two great geopolitical powers and traditional neighbors, namely China and Russia," Da added.