North Korean Ambassador to China Ji Jae-ryong has been holed up in the embassy in Beijing since late November, refusing to appear at formal events.
It seems to be a show of protest against China's embrace of sanctions against the renegade regime.
Ji last appeared in public on Nov. 20, when he welcomed back Song Tao, head of the Chinese Communist Party's International Liaison Department who had been visiting Pyongyang as a special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
There have been two other formal events that Ji could have shown up for. One was a meeting on Dec. 1-3 between the Chinese Communist Party and politicians from other countries, and the other a Dec. 13 ceremony commemorating the Nanjing Massacre.
High-ranking politicians from around 200 countries took part in the Communist Party event, and Ji was expected to attend unless a high-level delegation arrived from Pyongyang. South Korean ambassador to China Noh Young-min attended the ceremony in Nanjing that was led by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
One diplomatic source in Beijing said, "Beijing-Pyongyang relations are at their lowest point so it's a bad time to be involved in active exchanges."
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