Monday, February 17, 2014

Senior Chinese diplomat visiting North Korea

A senior Chinese diplomat is visiting North Korea, apparently to discuss a resumption of the 6-party talks and other issues.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters on Monday that Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin will visit Pyongyang from Monday to Thursday.

The spokeswoman said Liu will discuss with North Korean officials bilateral relations, the regional situation and other matters of mutual concern.

Liu's visit follows a meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing last Friday.

Kerry asked them to step up their efforts to influence North Korea, saying that tensions are rising in the country.

Analysts say Liu will try to assess the situation in North Korea in the wake of the dismissal and execution of Jang Song Thaek, a key force for forging ties with China.

Liu is also expected to discuss conditions for a resumption of the 6-party talks on the North's development of missiles and nuclear arms.