November 29, 2010 10:58
Beijing and Pyongyang seem to be expediting mutual visits in a bid to facilitate coordination in dealing with North Korea's artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island in the West Sea last Tuesday.
Choe Thae-bok, the chairman of the North's Supreme People's Assembly and secretary of the Workers Party's Central Military Commission, will visit China Tuesday, and a Chinese official is apparently to visit the North soon.
In the first visit to China by a senior North Korean official since the attack, Choe is expected to meet with Wang Jiarui, the director of the Chinese Communist Party's International Liaison Department, and other party officials before until he returns home on Saturday.
The North's point man in relations between the two communist parties, Choe flew to Beijing right after an extraordinary party congress in September that established Kim's son Jong-un as his heir.
China in return may send Wang or Dai Bingguo, a state councilor, since both have a track record of delicate missions to the North, a diplomatic source said Sunday.
A senior South Korean government official said they will probably meet leader Kim Jong-il.
The envoy is expected to lay out China's position on the North's latest provocations -- the unveiling of a uranium enrichment facility and the attack on Yeonpyeong Island.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi called in North Korean Ambassador in Beijing Ji Jae-ryong last Friday to express worries over the Yeonpyeong attack.
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