September 03, 2015 12:10
Choe Ryong-hae, a powerful secretary in North Korea's Workers Party, arrived in Beijing on Wednesday to attend 70th anniversary celebrations of the end of World War II.
Choe flew to Shenyang by Koryo Air and on to Beijing by domestic carrier, a changeover that included a three-hour wait.
On arrival in Beijing he rushed to a dinner hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
He was welcomed at the Beijing airport by Ji Jae-ryong, the North Korean ambassador to China.
"Choe didn't fly on a chartered plane, which suggests that he isn't a special envoy of Kim Jong-un," a North Korea source speculated. "That means he's not carrying a personal letter from Kim."
He is therefore unlikely to get a special one-on-one meting with Xi.
Back in May 2013, Choe flew to Beijing on a chartered plane as Kim's envoy and delivered a personal letter from Kim.
But he may well rub shoulders with President Park Geun-hye, who is also at the celebrations.
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