Senior Chinese diplomat to visit North Korea as envoy of Xi

The trip to Pyongyang by Song Tao, the head of the worldwide department at the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, comes after Xi and his USA counterpart Donald Trump held a summit in Beijing last week.

Mr Kim has never visited China, and Mr Xi has not visited North Korea since he became president.

North Korea's state news agency said in a short dispatch that Song will visit the North "soon", without revealing details.

China has said it was sending a high-level special envoy to North Korea over its nuclear weapons and missile programmes, as reported by Xinhua.

For his part, Xi repeated his plea for the issue to be resolved through negotiations, saying China was ready to discuss the "pathway leading to enduring peace and stability on the peninsula".


The trip comes as U.S. President Donald Trump finished his 12-day tour of Asia, which included stops in South Korea and China.

"The US and its allies hope that China will raise the threat of military strikes and impose harsher economic sanctions against North Korea", he told The Telegraph.

"China can fix this problem easily and quickly, and I am calling on China and your great president to hopefully work on it very hard", Trump said alongside Xi last Thursday.

Chinese banks have stopped dealing with North Korea after the U.S. unilaterally sanctioned the Bank of Dandong.

He will "inform the DPRK of the 19th CPC National Congress and visit the DPRK", Xinhua said on Wednesday, using the North's official name and referring to China's recently concluded Communist Party Congress at which Xi further cemented his power.

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