North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has told Li Zhanshu, the third-highest ranking official in the ruling Communist Party of China, that relations between the two counties are “special,” state-run media reported Monday.
Kim’s remarks to Li, carried in a report by the Korean Central News Agency, seem to suggest that he is keen to resume and promote denuclearization negotiations with U.S. President Donald Trump with the backing of China to secure security guarantees from Washington.
Chinese and North Korean leaders have to “more firmly and profoundly develop the special and solid DPRK-China relations which no one can hurt,” Kim told Li during their meeting on Sunday in Pyongyang, according to the report.
DPRK is the acronym of North Korea’s formal name in English, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Li also gave a letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping to Kim. The North Korean leader expressed willingness to “further boost high-level visits and deepen the strategic mutual understanding” with China, KCNA said.
Li arrived in Pyongyang on Saturday to attend events related to the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding. It is the first time since 2015 a member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee has visited North Korea.