Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (photo) is expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during his three-day trip to the reclusive Communist nation amid hopes that Pyongyang will return to nuclear disarmament talks.
AFP – Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao left for North Korea on Sunday, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said, on a trip that comes amid growing international pressure on Pyongyang to return to disarmament talks.
Wen was due to visit China’s isolated neighbour until Tuesday, according to previous state media reports.
The trip has been portrayed as a goodwill visit by China, but it has also added to expectations of a possible resumption in stalled six-nation denuclearisation talks.
Wen was accompanied on his departure from Beijing by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and by China’s envoy to the six-party talks, Wu Dawei, Xinhua said.
The talks group the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan. Pyongyang quit the forum in protest at United Nations censure of its long-range rocket launch on April 5.
It staged a second atomic weapons test in May, incurring stronger United Nations sanctions supported even by its closest ally and trading partner China.