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Chinese envoy Song Tao, right, shakes hands with a North Korean official at Pyongyang International Airport before embarking on a flight home Monday.   © Kyodo

China reports little progress by envoy on North Korea nuclear issue

Kim Jong Un didn't meet with Beijing official, source says

OKI NAGAI and SOTARO SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writers | China

BEIJING/SEOUL -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy to North Korea returned home Monday from a four-day trip to the rogue state without meeting its leader, Kim Jong Un, a signal that Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development could lead to a further cooling in relations.

The envoy, Song Tao, met with two of Kim's close aides, Choe Ryong Hae and Ri Su Yong, after arriving Friday in North Korea. China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that Song spoke with leaders of the North's ruling Workers' Party of Korea but gave no indication that he met with Kim.

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