Chinese envoy dispatched to North Korea in wake of Trump visit

Chinese envoy dispatched to North Korea in wake of Trump visit
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China said Wednesday that it will dispatch a high-level diplomat to North Korea after President Trump's visit to Beijing amid months of tensions resulting from Pyongyang's nuclear program.

The Associated Press reported that the head of China’s ruling Communist Party’s International Department, Song Tao, will visit North Korea on Friday to report the outcomes of the party's congress earlier this month.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the visit is unrelated to Trump's meeting with President Xi Jinping, calling it "common practice" for the two countries to exchange views.

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“The purpose of this visit is to brief about the party congress and exchange views on issues of common interest and bilateral interest,” Geng said at a news briefing.

Trump remarked alongside Xi at a news conference last week that China could end North Korea's nuclear program if Xi “hopefully work[s] on it very hard.”

“If he works on it hard, it will happen. There’s no doubt about it,” Trump told reporters.

Trump escalated his war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the weekend, tweeting after state media dubbed Trump "old" that he would never call Kim "short and fat."

"Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!" Trump tweeted on Saturday.

Trump returned Tuesday night from a 12-day trip to South Korea, China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan. The trip, which was extended to include a key Asian summit in the Philippines, was Trump's longest excursion abroad yet as president.