The Korea Herald


NK party officials visit China

By Kim So-hyun

Published : May 15, 2018 - 09:20

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Senior officials of North Korea’s ruling party are visiting China, Pyongyang’s state media said Tuesday, in what appears to be a trip to inspect China’s economic development following recent summits between the countries’ leaders.

“A friendship visiting group of the Workers’ Party of Korea led by Pak Thae-song, member of the Political Bureau and vice chairman of its Central Committee, left Pyongyang on Monday to visit the People’s Republic of China,” the Korean Central News Agency said.

Pak is known to be in charge of science technology and education policies at the Workers’ Party.

The KCNA did not mention the purpose of the trip or the names of other visiting officials.

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

According to sources, the delegation included Kim Su-gil, head of the Pyongyang City Committee of the Workers’ Party; Kim Nung-o, head of the party‘s North Pyongan Central Committee; and Ryu Myong-son, director of international affairs at the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party.

The North Korean delegation arrived on an Air Koryo flight at the Beijing Capital International Airport, and was received by the North Korean ambassador to China on Monday morning, sources in Beijing said earlier.

The group is staying at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse, and visited Monday afternoon the high-tech zone of Zhongguancun, akin to China’s Silicon Valley, which North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited in March.

On Tuesday morning, they were headed to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

The delegation’s trip comes a week after Kim Jong-un visited China for the second time in about 40 days to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping.

Kim flew to the northeastern port city of Dalian last week for talks with Xi, ahead of his much anticipated meeting with US President Donald Trump next month.

The improvement of ties between the Cold War allies, which had deteriorated as Beijing actively enforced sanctions on Pyongyang last year, is expected to lead to economic cooperation.

During a central committee meeting of the Workers’ Party last month, Kim vowed to focus on boosting the North‘s economy, which has been crippled by tightened international sanctions, while suspending nuclear and missile tests and closing a key atomic experiment facility.

“It is the strategic line of the Workers’ Party to concentrate all efforts of the whole party and country on the socialist economic construction,” Kim said.

Observers say China appears to be seeking to step up economic cooperation with the North by inviting key party officials, as it did after former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s visit to China in 2010.

In October 2010, two months after the late leader’s visit to China, North Korea sent the chiefs of the Workers’ Party committees for nine provinces and the three cities of Pyongyang, Nampo and Rason to the neighboring country.

They toured various industrial sites in Beijing, Shanghai, Jilin province and Heilongjiang province during their eight-day visit to learn about China’s economic development.

By Kim So-hyun (