Chinese President Xi Jinping meets N. Korean delegation

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping met a visiting North Korean delegation on Wednesday, state media reported, in an apparent attempt by Pyongyang to mend frayed ties with its powerful neighbour.

Chinese President Xi Jinping. AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping. AFP

Although the official Xinhua News Agency did not give the names of those in the delegation, the encounter comes on the heels of a rare visit Tuesday by top North Korean politician Ri Su Yong, vice chairman of the country's ruling Workers' Party and former foreign minister.

China is North Korea's largest trading partner and has been its key diplomatic protector for decades. But relations have soured following Pyongyang's internationally-condemned nuclear tests, with Beijing supporting UN sanctions against the hermit kingdom.

UN resolutions ban North Korea from using any ballistic missile technology, although it regularly fires short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast.

Ri Su Yong met Chinese official Song Tao on Tuesday, head of the international department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee, to brief him on the North's once-in-a-generation party congress, according to the CCP.

The isolated nation held its first party congress for nearly 40 years in early May, formally endorsing leader Kim Jong-Un's policy of expanding the country's nuclear arsenal.

The lack of any official Chinese representation at the congress was viewed as a sign of friction between the two traditional allies.

Kim has not visited China since coming to power and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has not visited Pyongyang.

Updated Date: Jun 01, 2016 17:00 PM

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