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N. Korea, China hold rare joint symposium to mark anniversaries of leaders' reciprocal visits

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un chat at the Kumsusan State Guesthouse in Pyongyang on June 21, 2019, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency)
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un chat at the Kumsusan State Guesthouse in Pyongyang on June 21, 2019, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency)
China hosted a joint symposium with North Korea to mark the anniversaries of reciprocal visits by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping, state media said Wednesday.

The International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party hosted the joint meeting Monday to celebrate the third anniversary of Kim's visit to China and the second anniversary of Xi's visit to North Korea, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Officials of North Korea's Embassy in Beijing attended the symposium, with Ambassador Ri Ryong-nam saying that the leaders' visits were historical events in which the leaders of the two parties showed their firm commitment to the struggle for socialism, according to the KCNA.

Song Tao, the director of the ILD, also stressed close bilateral relations, saying that the mutual visit has brought "new vitality" to relations between the traditional allies.

Pyongyang has been seeking to maintain closer ties with its traditional allies amid an impasse in nuclear negotiations with Washington.

In a recent op-ed piece to the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, Li Jinjun, the Chinese ambassador to North Korea, stressed the importance of cooperation between the two allies on regional peace, stability and prosperity.

North Korean officials on Monday also attended a photo exhibition by the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang and stressed close relations in an indication the country is gearing up to resume face-to-face diplomacy suspended amid coronavirus concerns. (Yonhap)
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