September 08, 2015 12:21
Many senior North Korean officials attended a reception hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang last Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
According to the Chinese Embassy website on Monday, the reception at the Yanggankdo International Hotel was attended by Culture Minister Pak Chun-nam, Sim Kuk-ryong, a bureau chief at the Foreign Ministry, and Vice Minister of Physical Culture and Sports Son Kwang-ho, as well as well as other senior military and government officials.
The participants watched recorded footage of a military parade held in Beijing that morning. The North Korean and Chinese officials exchanged "pleasant and friendly greetings," the embassy said.
Workers Party secretary Choe Ryong-hae was in Beijing, which Chinese Ambassador Li Jinjun said shows that the North Korean party and government are "attaching importance to the traditional friendly relationship between the two countries."
"The Chinese party and government wish to maintain stable development in bilateral relations," Li added.
A diplomatic source said while there have been reports that Choe was given less than the full red-carpet treatment in Beijing and returned home empty-handed, "it should be noted that these were the first high-level personnel meetings between Beijing and Pyongyang in two years and two months. It seems that relations are improving."
It remains to be seen whether a senior Chinese official will attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the North's Workers Party on Oct. 10.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com