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North Korean Official Visits China to Ease Tensions

  • VOA News

FILE - North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong answers questions during an interview in New York, April 23, 2016.

A high-ranking North Korean official is in China in an apparent effort to restore relations with its chief ally and benefactor, which have soured over Pyongyang's continued buildup of its nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.

Ri Su-yong, the head of international relations for North Korea's ruling party, arrived in Beijing Wednesday for talks with his Chinese counterpart Song Tao. The Chinese Communist Party says the two envoys reaffirmed the two nation's long-standing friendship, pledged to carry out bilateral exchanges and promote regional peace and security.

Beijing has become increasingly irritated over the North's repeated tests of its nuclear and ballistic missile weapons under young leader Kim Jong-un, in defiance of numerous sanctions imposed by the United Nations.