Tuesday, Sep 1, 2015, 3:14 AM CST – China

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International

North Korean Envoy Visits China

On May 22, just one day after Beijing announced that its new President Xi Jinping would visit the US early in June, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent his envoy Choe Ryong-hae to Beijing.

Given Choe’s high military and political rank, Chinese experts believe the North’s visit was not simply a request for economic assistance, but more an attempt to exert influence on China’s policy toward the Korean issue.

As North Korea’s only ally and its main source of economic aid, China has been under enormous pressure both at home and abroad since the North provoked the international community by testing three nuclear missiles, with the most recent test in February. Experts predict that the North might promise to limit its nuclear tests in exchange for backing from China.

Speculation was fueled when Choe told Beijing that the North values bilateral relations with China and is willing to come back to the negotiation table on the nuclear issue. The Chinese government did not reveal any further details of the talks. 

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