Kim Jong Eun met Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao in Pyongyang on the 25th, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported. According to the brief report, the two men discussed pressing bilateral issues, while Vice President Li also delivered a personal message from President Xi Jinping.
Kim reportedly told Li that the Chosun Workers’ Party and the North Korean people would “remember the martyrs of [North Korea] and China who sacrificed in the war forever.”
Making the sort of comments that are common in meetings between nominally socialist comrades, Kim went on to say that North Korea “highly regarded the great achievements of China’s socialist cause, and valued its traditional friendship with China,” and that North Korea “was willing to promote its communication and cooperation with China, and push the development of the two countries’ relationship.”
Kim also claimed that North Korea is “dedicated to developing its economy and improving its people’s lives,” but that this required a “stable outer environment.” He added that Pyongyang supports China’s desire to restart the Six-Party Talks.
Li made similar comments, noting the sacrifices of the Korean War and stating that the bilateral relationship between North Korea and China is “entering a new period that built on the past and prepared for the future.” He added that China is “willing to work with [North Korea] to strengthen mutual trust and communications, expand exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and advance bilateral ties.”
Li met Supreme People’s Assembly head Kim Yong Nam earlier the same day, where he reportedly noted, “We must never allow the dark cloud of war to fall over this land again.”
Li, the highest-ranking member of the Chinese government to visit North Korea since Kim Jong Eun came to power, is due to return to China on the 28th following the culmination of events tomorrow celebrating North Korea’s “victory” in the Korean War.