Days after a landmark inter-Korean summit, China’s foreign minister is set to pay a visit to North Korea this week, becoming the highest ranking Chinese official to travel to the country in years.
Beijing’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, is scheduled to visit Pyongyang on Wednesday and Thursday at the invitation of his North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong Ho, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
Wang will be the first Chinese foreign minister to visit the North since 2007.
The two met in Beijing in early April, days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un went to the Chinese capital and held talks with President Xi Jinping.
The North Korean leader has invited Xi to visit Pyongyang, but no date has been set yet.
Last Friday, Kim held a historic summit with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone.
During the meeting, Kim and Moon agreed that they should make efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
They also decided to seek a peace treaty by the end of the year and hold talks with the United States, and possibly China, to achieve it.
The Korean War ceased in 1953 with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, which means the two neighbors are technically at war.
Kim is now expected to meet with US President Donald Trump in the coming weeks at a time and place that have yet to be decided.
The North Korean leader is also expected to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Beijing has supported the denuclearization of the peninsula and has condemned Pyongyang’s nuclear tests.
Last year, Trump’s threats and belligerent rhetoric prompted Pyongyang to carry out its most powerful nuclear test to date and launch intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.
The North has been hit by a series of tough international sanctions over its military program, which it says serves as deterrence in the face of potential foreign aggression.