TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC)-North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho has arrived in China’s capital of Beijing for talks with his Chinese counterpart, following a historic visit to the country by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un just a week ago.
Ri’s visit was announced by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Tuesday.
Geng said North Korea’s top diplomat was due to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
He did not elaborate on the likely agenda of the talks, suggesting that the visit would be a short one.
Following his China visit, Ri is due to travel to Russia, Azerbaijan, and other former Soviet republics in the days ahead, according to Japan’s Kyodo news agency, citing a diplomatic source.
China remains the North’s main ally and trade partner, though their relations have relatively cooled when Beijing began enforcing UN Security Council sanctions aimed at containing Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.
North Korea’s leader met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week in his first official trip abroad since rising to power in December 2011.
Kim is also scheduled to hold talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27 as well as a potential meeting with US President Donald Trump.
The diplomatic breakthrough involving North Korea and its neighbors started during the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, to which Kim sent athletes, cheerleaders as well as his sister as a diplomatic envoy.
This is while the UN Security Council (UNSC) last week blacklisted dozens of vessels and shipping companies accused of helping North Korea circumvent sanctions, putting further pressure on Pyongyang ahead of Kim’s planned talks with the South Korean and US presidents in the coming months.