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Chinese envoy wraps up trip to North Korea

The Associated Press BEIJING (AP) — A high-level Chinese envoy wrapped up a four-day trip to North Korea on Monday after meeting with top officials and discussing the tense state of affairs on the Korean Peninsula and other issues.

Song Tao, the most senior Chinese official to visit Pyongyang in two years, was officially tasked with briefing the government on China’s recent party congress. China’s official Xinhua News Agency said the ruling parties of both countries agreed to strengthen exchanges and “push forward relations.”

Song and North Korean officials discussed “the Korean Peninsula issue and other issues of common concern,” Xinhua said.

Neither side had commented on the tone of the visit as Song wrapped up his official itinerary on Monday. China’s foreign ministry, asked to comment on the visit, repeated a standard line about Song’s official itinerary and added nothing further.

Song’s trip was watched closely because it came on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Asian tour, in which he urged greater efforts by China and others to push North Korea to abandon its development of nuclear weapons.

Song, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Department, met with North Korean ruling party Vice Chairman Choe Ryong Hae and former Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong.

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