ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
N Korea at crossroads

Xi to send parliament chief Li Zhanshu to North Korea as envoy

National People's Congress chairman to attend country's 70th anniversary celebration

Chairman of the National People's Congress Li Zhanshu will begin his visit to North korea on Saturday, according to Chinese state media Xinhua.   © Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) -- China's parliament chief will visit North Korea this weekend as President Xi Jinping's special representative for celebrations marking 70 years since the founding of the country, state news agency Xinhua said.

North Korea, locked in a standoff with the United States over its nuclear and missile programmes, is preparing to host a number of major events for the Sept. 9 anniversary, including a military parade, possible visits by foreign delegations, and - for the first time in five years - a massive choreographed performance known as the "Mass Games."

There had been speculation in diplomatic circles that Xi himself would go. Xi and North Korea's youthful leader, Kim Jong Un, have met three times this year, each time in China.

Xinhua gave few details about the visit of parliament chief Li Zhanshu, who is the third most senior member of China's ruling Communist Party, in its brief report on Tuesday, aside from saying he would arrive on Saturday.

In a separate reports, the North's KCNA news agency said Li would visit "from Sept. 8", without saying how long he would stay.

Kim met U.S. President Donald Trump in June and agreed to "work toward the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", but negotiations since then appear to have stalled with both sides increasingly criticising the other for a lack of progress.

Trump last month cancelled a planned visit to North Korea by his top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing insufficient progress in the denuclearisation talks.

Trump has also questioned China's role in helping to resolve the crisis over North Korea's development of nuclear weapons that threaten the United States, and has said that while China is exerting "tremendous pressure" it is also supplying Pyongyang with "considerable aid".

China says it is committed to enforcing the harsh U.N. sanctions on North Korea and has also welcomed the talks between Trump and Kim.

China has long feared chaos or war on the Korean peninsula, and has repeatedly called for talks to resolve tensions.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends July 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media