November 29, 2012 10:59
A senior Chinese official arrives in North Korea on Thursday, marking the first visit by a Beijing apparatchik since Xi Jinping took over the world's most populous country.
Politburo member Liu Qibao is expected to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and brief him about the party congress that appointed Xi to the leadership. He will also deliver a personal message from the new general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party that could include an invitation to China.
It remains to be seen whether China will try to dissuade North Korea from attempting another rocket launch, which is widely regarded as a cover to test long-range missile technology.
Amid evidence that test preparations are underway, the Chinese Foreign Ministry earlier said it is the "joint responsibility" of South Korea, Japan and China to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
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