BEIJING -- China said Tuesday that it has invited North Korean officials to a forum on its regional economic development plan to be held in Beijing next week.
China will host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on Sunday and Monday as it seeks to promote its initiative for building an economic belt linking Asia and Europe and even Africa through land and maritime silk roads.
China's foreign ministry said that the conference is open to any country that would be on the same page with its "One Belt One Road" drive.
"North Korea will send its delegation to the forum and will do relevant activities," Geng Shuang, ministry spokesman, told a press briefing.
Kim Yong-jae, the North Korean minister of external economic relations, reportedly plans to lead the delegation.
Three South Korean officials, including Seoul's top envoy to China Kim Jang-soo, will attend the forum, according to the South Korean Embassy in Beijing.
The Chinese government is known to have sent invitations to all diplomatic missions in China.
China has invited leaders of major countries, but it did not do so to South Korea amid a diplomatic row over South Korea's deployment of an advanced US missile defense system. (Yonhap)