North Korea said Friday it was hosting a visit by a Chinese Government delegation led by Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong, as it continues its efforts to strengthen ties with Beijing and Moscow in the face of deepening confrontations with Washington.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Sun’s delegation arrived in the capital, Pyongyang, on Thursday after crossing the land border between the countries. The report didn’t provide further details about the visit.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been trying to boost the visibility of its partnership with China and Russia as he tries to break out of diplomatic isolation and strengthen his regional footing by joining a united front against the United States.
Kim traveled to Russia’s Far East in September for a rare summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some experts say he is also likely seeking a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
While Kim has prioritized his ties with Russia, something that has raised concerns about an arms cooperation that would help fuel Putin’s war on Ukraine, he has also invited senior Chinese officials to major state events and vowed to strengthen bilateral relations.
A Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu Guozhong attended the celebrations for North Korea’s 75th founding anniversary last September, shortly before Kim’s trip to Russia. In July, Kim invited Chinese ruling party official Li Hongzhong and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to a major military parade in Pyongyang, where he rolled out his most powerful, potentially nuclear-capable missiles targeting the United States, South Korea and Japan.