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Xi's special envoy returns home after visiting N. Korea for anniversary

All Headlines 08:16 September 12, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 12 (Yonhap) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy has returned home after visiting North Korea to attend events marking its 70th founding anniversary, the North's state media reported Wednesday.

Li Zhanshu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, led a delegation to the North in time for the founding anniversary that fell on Sunday.

Li and his delegation "left here on Tuesday after visiting the DPRK to attend the celebrations of its 70th birthday at the invitation of the Workers' Party of Korea Central Committee and the DPRK government," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

During his stay in North Korea, Li, China's third-ranked official, joined a military parade in central Pyongyang on Sunday where he was seated next to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the VIP balcony.

In an apparent bid to emphasize friendly relations with China, the North earlier reported that it hosted an art performance and banquet exclusively for Li and his delegation. It was also attended by Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju.

In a meeting with Li on Sunday, Kim expressed his hope to consolidate the country's "special" relations with China. Li delivered Xi's personal letter to Kim.

Kim Yo-jong, younger sister of the leader, and Choe Ryong-hae, vice chairman of the North's ruling party, were among those who came out to the airport in Pyongyang to see Li and his delegation off, according to the KCNA.


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