China sends senior envoy Liu Zhenmin to North Korea
BEIJING (AFP) - China's vice foreign minister is visiting North Korea, the ministry said on Monday, making him Beijing's most senior envoy known to go to Pyongyang since its young leader executed his uncle, a key China interlocutor.
The late Jang Song Thaek was North Korea's second most powerful figure, and provided a valuable link between the two countries before being purged in December following a sidelining of other core leaders.
"Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin will start his visit to the DPRK from today and the visit will last until February the 20th," Beijing foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
She added that "as far as I have learnt, it is a regular exchange of two foreign ministries".