China hails 'friendship' with N Korea, urges closer ties

China hails 'friendship' with N Korea, urges closer ties

It seems like North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is not keeping well these days as the country has not launched any ballistic missile since last two months.

Diplomat Song Tao may now hold the keys to preventing war as tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to deteriorate.

A special envoy from President Xi Jinping of China discussed regional and mutual concerns with senior North Korean officials in Pyongyang on Saturday, the North's state media said.

British naval tactics dating from the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s should be applied to isolate North Korea, according to a former United States Navy officer who has also served as an advisor to senior USA politicians.

Washington has repeatedly called on Beijing, which accounts for 90 percent of Pyongyang's foreign trade, to put more economic pressure on the nuclear-armed North Korea.

China has not officially provided any details of Song's visit to Pyongyang or his meetings with North Korean officials.

China, which has so far played down Song's visit, remains cautious not to expect any major breakthrough from the trip.

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The report did not say whether Song had met with sitting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

During his visit, Song was widely expected to try to ease the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Pyongyang-China has hailed the "traditional friendship" with North Korea as "valuable wealth" for both nations, emphasizing the need to further promote bilateral relations as Beijing's envoy visits Pyongyang amid tensions over the North's military program.

Special representative Song Tao, the head of the ruling Communist Party's external affairs department, informed Choe about China's 19th National Congress "in detail", and stressed China's stance to steadily develop the traditionally friendly relations between the two parties and countries, KCNA said.

Song also traveled to Hoechang County, west of Pyongyang, to tour what was Chinese military forces' headquarters during the 1950-53 Korean War, it also said.

They are also likely to discuss ways to strengthen their coordination to peacefully resolve the North Korea nuclear issue, the ministry said.

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