SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Chinese senior diplomat Song Tao, and feted a Chinese art troupe led by Song, North Korean state media said on Sunday, indicating closer ties with China following Kim’s surprise visit to Beijing last month.
The North Korean leader on Saturday “warmly” greeted Song Tao and the Chinese delegation visiting Pyongyang to perform and also expressed his greetings to Chinese President Xi Jinping after Song conveyed Xi’s greetings to Kim, the North’s official Korea Central News Agency said.
“He said with deep emotion that the Chinese comrades accorded cordial hospitality to him with utmost sincerity in token of warm comradely friendship during his recent unforgettable visit to China,” the KCNA said.
In late March, Kim made a rare visit to Beijing and met Xi, Kim’s first known journey abroad since he took power in 2011.
The Chinese art troupe, led by Song, the head of the Communist Party’s International Department, left for North Korea on Friday for an April Spring Friendship Art Festival.