Chinese official, art troupe to attend North Korea festival

Chinese official, art troupe to attend North Korea festival

Chinese official, art troupe to attend North Korea festival

An empty seat presumed to be the leader's could be seen in photographs distributed by North Korea's central news agency and there was no mention of his attendance in the state media reports.

Kim spoke at a meeting of the politburo of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, which approved a budget for the year that's to be presented to parliament, due to convene Wednesday, KCNA said.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to raise North Korea's human rights situation in addition to denuclearization during his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the State Department said Tuesday. Following his summit with Xi, Kim dispatched his foreign minister to Moscow, reportedly exploring the possibility of a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It added that the leader mentioned his upcoming summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, which is to be held on April 27 in the truce village of Panmunjom in the heavily fortified border that divides the rival nations.

DPRK state media, notably emphasized the importance of the visit, stating it was the first since Kim and Xi had "agreed on strengthening the cultural exchange".

Song visited Pyongyang in November a year ago as a special envoy of Xi, but he could not meet with Kim Jong-un. For China, the Xi-Kim summit apparently helped highlight Beijing's leverage over the North in resolving the North's nuclear standoff.

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Song's visit is not the first exchange between the high-level Chinese and North Korean officials since last month's summit took place, however.

"We will closely watch whether a concert in China by a North Korean art troupe could be pushed for again after its thwarted performance in December 2015".

"First, it wants to become a central player, since it was somewhat marginalized by the events of the recent three or four months", Andrei Lankov, director of the Korea Risk Group - which owns and operates NK News - said.

He then discussed the "prospect of the (North Korean)-U.S. dialogue and set forth the strategic and tactical issues" to be maintained by the party, KCNA said.

" If the U.S.is not willing to accept some compromise, China can easily restart its assistance to North Korea, thus reducing the impact of the worldwide sanctions regime".

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