March 27, 2019 11:38
A senior North Korean official arrived in Beijing on Tuesday morning, where he could meet with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, who is also in the Chinese capital.
It would be the first official contact between the two countries since their summit in Hanoi collapsed last month.
The official is believed to be Ri Su-yong, vice chairman of the Workers Party Central Committee, because he is "leading a party delegation" to Laos, according to the official [North] Korean Central News Agency.
The North Koreans were welcomed at Beijing Capital International Airport by their Ambassador to China Ji Jae-ryong and Chinese Communist Party liaison officials.
However, North Korea is extremely status-conscious and Ri, who is in charge of the North's overall foreign policy, is rather senior to Biegun's previous counterparts in negotiations, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui and chief North Korean negotiator Kim Hyok-chol.
Meanwhile, Biegun on Wednesday meets Kong Xuanyou, China's vice foreign minister and chief negotiator, to discuss developments since the collapse of the U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi.
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