Home China Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member Zhao To Lead Delegation To North Korea

Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member Zhao To Lead Delegation To North Korea

A Chinese delegation is all set to visit North Korea. According to the Chinese foreign ministry, the delegation will be headed by Zhao Leji who is the party’s third ranked official and a member of the powerful Political Bureau Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Zhao will be the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit the North since 2018 when Li Zhanshu attended the 70th anniversary of the North’s founding.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said Zhao’s visit would see him and his delegation attend the opening ceremony of the “China-North Korea Friendship Year.” This year marks 75 years of diplomatic ties between Pyongyang and Beijing.

“China and North Korea are good neighbours linked by mountains and rivers, and our two parties and countries have always maintained a tradition of friendly communication,” Mao said. “With the joint efforts of both parties, this visit will be a complete success and promote the further deepening and development of China-North Korea relations,” she added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had opened 2024 by exchanging messages and announcing it as the year of friendship, calling for a series of activities to mark the anniversary.

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The visit comes as Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida begins his visit to Washington, where he will meet with President Biden and concern will be shared over China. North Korea may also be likely to come up given Pyongyang’s recent firing of ballistic missiles towards Japan and its refusal to hold a summit meeting with Kishida.

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield will become the most senior US official to visit the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas, She will be the most senior US official to visit there since Vice President Kamala Harris went there in 2022. Greenfield will also visit South Korea and Japan during the trip. Her visit comes after the Russia veto on a US-led Security Council resolution to extend the mandate of a panel of experts that has monitored North Korea’s nuclear-weapons.

(With inputs from Reuters)