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China communist party politburo member Zhao to lead delegation to North Korea

A Chinese government and communist party delegation led by its top legislator and the party’s third ranked official Zhao Leji will pay an official goodwill visit to North Korea, the North’s official KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

China’s foreign ministry also announced Zhao’s visit that will take place from Thursday to Saturday.

The trip led by Zhao, a member of the powerful Political Bureau Standing Committee of the Chinese communist party, comes as Pyongyang seeks to expand diplomatic exchanges with its main political ally after lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

Zhao, who is also the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, will be the highest ranking Chinese official to visit the North since 2018 when Li Zhanshu attended the 70th anniversary of the North’s founding.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told a briefing that the trip was a “reflection of the profound friendship between the two countries and the great importance China attaches to China-DPRK relations.”

DPRK refers to the initials of the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The spokesperson did not say who the delegation would meet, but said Zhao would attend the opening ceremony to mark China-DPRK Friendship Year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un opened 2024 exchanging messages and announcing it as the year of friendship, calling for a series of activities to mark the anniversary.

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By The African Mirror