PYONGYANG – Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in North Korea, his first visit since becoming head of state in 2013. This is, as BBC notes, the first visit by any Chinese president to Pyongyang since 2005.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived to visit the capital of North Korea where he will spend two days. Ahead of his arrival, he published a column in North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun stating that China supports the “right decision” of Pyongyang on its course of socialist development.
He arrived accompanied by wife Peng Lijuan and several officials of the Communist Party, the AP reported.
This year marks 60 years since the signing of the agreement on air and road traffic between China and North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has visited China four times since the beginning of last year.
On the eve of the visit to Pyongyang, the Chinese President said North Korea was heading in the right direction on its course of socialist development and towards unification of Korea, by solving political issues in the Korean Peninsula.
On this occasion, he did not publicly mention negotiations on nuclear weapons in Washington and Pyongyang, but experts believe that he will most likely, during the talks with the North Korean leader, support North Korea’s efforts to call for gradual disarmament.
At the same time, it is believed that China will continue to extend its general military support to the DPRK in the event it faces overt or hostile threats. US threats against the DPRK are not considered realistic given issues of supply line security, and China’s relative strength and proximity to North Korea.
He pointed out that his two-day visit will strengthen strategic communication and exchange between two friendly countries.
Reuters reports that Xi’s visit to North Korea is visible support to Kim.
He said that China will contribute to peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region by strengthening communications with North Korea.
“China will also engage with other stakeholders by jointly accelerating progress in dialogue and negotiations on the issues of the Korean peninsula,” Xi said.