China, North Korea hold strategic talks in Beijing
Beijing: Negotiators from North Korea and China held strategic talks in Beijing today as they work to repair strained relations, but offered little indication they will lead to a resumption of nuclear disarmament talks any time soon.
Neither Pyongyang nor Beijing offered details of the meeting between North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui. They were expected to focus on bilateral relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The meeting followed Pyongyang’s surprise offer on Sunday for direct talks with the US after months of threats that raised the possibility of fresh fighting on the Korean Peninsula.
With its long-range rocket launch and nuclear test earlier this year, North Korea angered China, its most important ally, leading Beijing to back tightened UN sanctions, crack down on North Korean banking activity and urge Pyongyang to return to disarmament talks.
North Korea has sought to mend ties since then, including with a visit last month to Beijing by top envoy Vice Marshal Choe Ryong Hae, who was quoted as saying Pyongyang was “willing to take active measures” to return to talks.