SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un personally greeted a top Chinese official in Pyongyang and called for stronger ties with Beijing, state media said Sunday, as the traditional allies seek to heal battered relations, reports AFP.
Kim met Song Tao, head of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee’s international department, who was leading an art troupe to a spring festival in the North’s capital.
The delegation arrived just weeks after 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.
Kim is expected to hold summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in this month and US President Donald Trump in the following weeks.
The North’s official KCNA news agency said Kim welcomed Song and his delegation in a meeting on Saturday at which Song conveyed Xi’s “warm greetings”.
The two exchanged “profound views on the important matters of mutual concern” and the international situation, KCNA said, without providing details.
“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..