China willing to enhance North Korean ties, top legislator says on visit, Xinhua reports

By Thomson Reuters Apr 12, 2024 | 10:08 PM

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – China’s leadership is willing to work with its North Korean counterparts to deepen trust and boost cooperation, China’s top legislator Zhao Leji said in a speech in Pyongyang published by the official Xinhua news agency late on Friday.

Zhao is on an official goodwill visit to North Korea from Thursday to Saturday and made the speech at the opening ceremony for China-DPRK Friendship Year, Xinhua said.

DPRK refers to the initials of the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Zhao is the highest ranking Chinese official to visit the North since 2018 when Li Zhanshu attended the 70th anniversary of the North’s founding.

The country’s top leaders have met five times in recent years, Zhao noted.

“No matter how the international situation changes, the traditional friendship between China and the DPRK, created and nurtured by the older generation of leaders from both parties and countries, remains deep-rooted and strong over time,” Zhao was quoted as saying.

(Reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Sonali Paul)