U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to raise North Korea's human rights situation in addition to denuclearization during his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the State Department said Tuesday.
Senior Chinese diplomat Song Tao is set to visit Pyongyang accompanied by a "large-scale" performing squad, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Wednesday.
The April summit will be the first inter-Korean leaders meeting in 11 years.
"I think there'll be great respect paid by both parties".
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Baik Tae-hyun, a spokesman for South Korea's unification ministry, said Seoul believes the Chinese delegation's trip is "part of the efforts to strengthen friendly cultural exchanges between North Korea and China following their summit".
The Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), carried the report on the front page of Wednesday's edition.
Song Tao visited the DPRK in November past year as a special envoy of President Xi with the goal of debriefing North Korean officials on the 19th National Congress of the CPC. On Monday he briefed party members on talks with the South and the "prospect" of dialogue with the United States, in an unusually well-publicised politburo meeting.
"The move appears meant to strengthen cultural exchanges following the North-China summit", Baik Tae-hyun, spokesman at Seoul's unification ministry, told a press briefing.
The North has held the festival every two years since 1982 to mark the birthday of late founder Kim Il-sung on April 15, known as the Day of the Sun.