North Korean love continues to bloom: Chinese foreign minister to visit Pyongyang this week
The world's rapprochement with North Korea is getting vivid. Just a few days after the historic Inter-Korean Summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the truce village of Punmunjeom on April 27, China said its foreign minister Wang Yi will pay a visit to Pyongyang this week.
Yi's office informed about this on Monday, April 30.
Yi's visit was in response to an invitation from North Korea last week, China's foreign ministry said in a statement.
Yi, who met his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho in Beijing in April beginning, will be the first Chinese foreign minister to visit Pyongyang since 2007 - making the gap the exact one after which the top leaders of two Koreas met last Friday.
The 11-year hiatus also showed the extent to which the relations between China and North Korea - two old allies in the region - had deteriorated in the recent times over Pyongyang's boundless nuclear ambitions.
North Korea started its diplomatic opening since the beginning of 2018 by expressing pro-peace approach towards South Korea and also reaching out to big powers like the US and China.
Kim made a personal visit to China in March end - his first foreign visit since taking charge in December 2011 - where he met President Xi Jinping. He is also supposed to meet US President Donald Trump in another month or so and the world is expecting to witness what is considered the biggest diplomatic ice-breaking of the 21st century.
The Chinese foreign minister's visit to North Korea will mean that Beijing is not ready to stay on the sidelines of the historic rapprochement over North Korea, particularly after the two Koreas met last week and vowed to end the Korean War which is still technically on by involving the US and China and denuclearise the Korean Peninsula.
The Chinese foreign minister's upcoming visit suggests that Beijing is keen to take a lead over the Korean peace process before the US makes its move for the rivalry between the two to outsmart each other in international politics is notorious.