BEIJING -- A high-ranking Chinese official who is currently in Pyongyang, North Korea, to attend a national ceremony conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping's personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Sunday, a Chinese news report said.
Li Zhanshu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, gave the letter to Kim in a meeting with him on Sunday on the occasion of his attendance at the North Korean military parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the country's founding, according to China Central Television.
Li traveled to North Korea as a special envoy of President Xi.
In the letter, President Xi hailed Kim's "focused efforts to develop the economy and improve people's livelihood" through his "new strategic line." The president also reaffirmed China's commitment to reinforcing relations with North Korea.
"China and North Korea, through the three past summits with Kim, opened a new chapter in the development of bilateral relations," Xi said in the letter. "(I) want to develop North Korea-China relations more quickly by implementing the two sides' common understanding."
In the meeting with Kim, Li also reiterated China's commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, according to the report.
"(China) hopes North Korea and the United States will implement their common understanding (made) in their bilateral summit and keep to the good trend of peace and dialogue," the Chinese official said, adding that China wants to play a "constructive role" in resolving Korean Peninsula issues politically together with other concerned nations.
Kim reciprocated with an expression of appreciation, saying, "Currently North Korea is following a strategic line of focusing on economic development." He also said the North wants to learn from China's experience of economic development and expand their bilateral relations.
Kim also referred to the June summit meeting with President Donald Trump in Singapore, noting that he wants the U.S. side to take action in proportion to North Korean efforts taken in accordance with their agreement in the summit.
The news of the North Korea-China exchange came after North Korea's dramatic gesture of good will as they celebrated the national anniversary ceremony with a toned-down military parade.
Kim did not deliver his usual speech at the celebratory military parade, which, in turn, did away with its usual display of menacing intercontinental ballistic missiles, apparently as the country attempted not to provoke the United States or South Korea as the countries engage in dialogue efforts to end animosity on the Korean Peninsula. (Yonhap)