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N. Korea's Kim vows to further develop ties with China

April 14, 2024 - 09:50 By Yonhap
This photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Left) meeting with Zhao Leji, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, in Pyongyang on Saturday. (KCNA)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with China's top legislator, Zhao Leji, in Pyongyang and discussed ways to further deepen bilateral ties, the North's state media said Sunday.

During the luncheon meeting held Saturday, Kim said Zhao's visit to Pyongyang is "of very weighty significance in demonstrating the invincibility of the DPRK-China friendship and further developing the traditional friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries as required by the times," according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The two sides discussed the issue of "boosting the multi-faceted exchange and cooperation for developing the friendly and cooperative relations dear to the two parties and two countries into more viable ties" and other important issues of mutual concern, the KCNA said in an English-language dispatch.

Kim stressed it is the "invariable and steadfast" policy of the North to develop the countries' "long-standing friendship century after century" and expressed expectation that advancing their "durable traditions of friendship" would lead to successful fruition.

He then proposed a toast to the "eternal development" of socialism of the two countries and longevity and good health of Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to the KCNA.

Key officials attended the meeting, including Jo Yong-won, secretary for organizational affairs at the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui and Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of the North Korean leader.

After their discussions, Kim himself saw off Zhao and other members of the delegation and bid them farewell as they left the meeting.

Zhao, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, is the first high-ranking Chinese official to visit the North since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

The three-day trip by the No. 3 official in the Chinese Communist Party came as the two countries mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations. (Yonhap)