Xi's Special Envoy to Visit N.Korea

North Korea's state media has criticized Donald Trump for insulting leader Kim Jong-Un, saying the USA president deserved the death penalty and calling him a coward for cancelling a visit to the inter-Korean border, The Guardian has reported.

President Trump echoed Mattis' stance while visiting South Korea as part of a 12-day trip to Asia last week, urging North Korea to "make a deal", while also warning Pyongyang to "not underestimate us" and "not try us". Actually, when Song's visit to Vietnam and the Laos was announced earlier, multiple journalists had asked China's foreign ministry if Song would go to North Korea as well, but the ministry remained ambiguous about the question.

A brief exchange of official cordial greetings in early November, after the conclusion of China's Party Congress, appeared to show China and North Korea might be making efforts to fix ties.

From Japan, Trump had travelled to Seoul, where he had harshly condemned the North Korean regime in a speech at the South Korean National Assembly and underlined the strategic positioning of military assets in the region. The objective of the trip was to discuss trade and efforts to halt North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The last time China's special envoy for North Korea visited the country was in February 2016.

Kim and China President Xi Jinping exchanged messages of congratulations and thanks over the Chinese party congress but neither has visited the other's country since assuming power. One of the most eye-catching statements he made was that China had agreed to give up an unwelcome pillar of its approach to North Korea.

But China seems to have rejected the idea of denuclearization and instead wants the United States to settle for a freeze in North Korea's nuclear program in exchange for a freeze in the US's military drills with South Korea.

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North Korea's KCNA news agency confirmed the visit, but said only that it would take place "soon".

Since becoming president, Trump has engaged in an escalating war of words with Kim Jong-un, trading personal insults and threats of military strikes and raising concerns about an outbreak of hostilities.

The US has repeatedly rejected China's proposal, noting it's not fair to equate North Korea's illegal weapons programs with its long-standing defensive activities with ally South Korea.

Geng said at a regular briefing that China's position has not changed.

Song's department is in charge of the party's relations with foreign political parties, and it has traditionally served as a conduit for Chinese diplomacy with North Korea.

Trump said that the USA and China agree that they should not accept a "freeze for freeze" proposal on North Korea.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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