Trump Hails China's North Korea Envoy as 'Big Move' but Experts Doubtful
Albanian Daily News
Published November 17, 2017
US President Donald Trump has hailed the Chinese government sending an envoy to North Korea Friday as a "big move" in the wake of his five-country trip to Asia.
In a Tweet late Thursday, Trump appeared to suggest it could lead to developments in the nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula.
"China is sending an envoy and delegation to North Korea - A big move, we'll see what happens!" Trump said.
The US leader has just finished a two-week tour of Asia, including a stop in Beijing, during which he called for greater diplomatic pressure to be put on North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.
Song Tao, head of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, is due to arrive in North Korea on Friday, state news agency Xinhua reported Wednesday. It's the first time a senior official has made a public visit to North Korea this year.
Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing, said the visit was unlikely to be an attempt to strong arm Pyongyang over its nuclear program.
Officially the visit is about party to party ties. Song will inform the North Korean Workers' Party of the outcome of China's 19th Party Communist Party Congress in October, where Chinese President Xi Jinping was given a second term as leader.
"It has become a sort of routine for the Chinese Communist Party to send a special envoy to its fellow communist and socialist countries to brief them on China's Party Congress," he said.
"China did so after the conclusion of the 2007 and 2012 party congresses, so this is not really unusual."
Zhao, however, said it was "very likely" the North Korea nuclear program would come up as part of their discussions.