Chinese vice president Li Yuanchao arrived in North Korea on Thursday as the highest ranked official from China to visit since Kim Jong-un came to power.
According to Reuters, Li told Kim:
As a close neighbor of the Korean peninsula, China will persist in the denuclearization of the peninsula, adhere to safeguarding the peace and stability on the peninsula and persist in using dialogue and consultation to resolve the problem.
Kim said in response that North Korea will support the efforts to resume six-party disarmament talks.
Relations between the China and the DPRK have been strained since North Korea’s nuclear test in February. However, recently there has been a thaw.
“The senior rank of the official sent indicates that Beijing is using the anniversary as an opportunity to warm relations with Pyongyang after a cold spell” Lu Chao, a research fellow at the Liaoning Academy of Social Science, told the Global Times.
Li, along with his delegation, was officially in Korea to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
In a sign of just how repaired the relations are, watch Li give a hug to Kim.
[Image via cf8.com.cn]