N. Korea Sends Envoy to China

    Choe Ryong Hae, director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People's Army (KPA), center,  and other delegates from left, Kim Hyong Jun, deputy minister Foreign Affairs,  Ri Yong Gil, Col. Gen. of KPA, Kim Song Nam, vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers party of Korea, and Kim Su Gil,  Lt. Gen. of KPA,  pose before leaving Pyongyang Airport for China, North Korea Wednesday, May 22, 2013.  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dispatched a high-profile official and close confidant to travel to China on Wednesday as a special envoy while Beijing is under pressure to rein in its belligerent neighbor.

    Kim Kwang Hyon/AP

    Confirming speculation that Kim Jong-un is anxious to mend ties with China, the North Korean leader reportedly dispatched a “special envoy” to Beijing on Wednesday. Vice Marshal Choe Ryong-hae, the first North Korean official to visit China on behalf of Kim, is a high-profile choice, as the acting director of the General Political Bureau of the North Korean People’s Army. A senior analyst at the Sejong Institute in South Korea confirmed that the meeting suggests there is something “quite urgent” to discuss. Considering that Kim sent his top military official, the agenda likely consists of convincing China—the nation’s only remaining ally—that North Korea’s nuclear-weapon touting is warranted. Good luck.

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