North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with a senior Chinese official in Pyongyang, calling for stronger links with Beijing, the official KCNA news agency reported today. Kim met Song Tao, head of the international department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, who accompanied a troupe of artists participating in the annual spring festival in Pyongyang to commemorate the birth in 1912 of the founder of the Kim Il Sung regime. . This visit comes weeks after the diplomatic debut of the North Korean leader who, while he had not made any official visits abroad since taking office in late 2011, went to Beijing where he met the Chinese president. Xi Jinping. >> Read also – Kim Jong-un was received with great fanfare in Beijing Beijing is the closest ally of the North Korean regime, diplomatically and economically, but relations have stretched in the last two years, with Beijing increasingly opposed to North Korea’s banned ballistic and nuclear programs. by the international community. Kim Jong Un is scheduled to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27, before a historic summit with US President Donald Trump on a date yet to be determined. >> Read also – Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang’s strategist, breaks his isolation “Development of traditional friendship” According to North Korea’s official KCNA news agency, Kim received the Chinese delegation on Saturday at a meeting in which Song Tao sent him the “warm greetings” from the Chinese number one. The two men had “an extensive exchange of views on important topics of mutual interest,” the North Korean agency added without further details. “The Supreme Leader has said that he will work positively to develop the traditional friendship between the DPRK (North Korea’s official acronym, Editor’s note) and China to a new phase, as required by the new era.” Further exchanges and high-level cooperation should follow between Beijing and Pyongyang, according to KCNA reports. Song Tao wished in return “to contribute to the promotion of Sino-North Korea relations durable and prolonged”. Mr. Kim also chaired a banquet in honor of the Chinese delegation. The official daily Rodong Sinmun published photos showing Chinese and North Korean officials sitting at several round tables in a huge reception hall with a picture of MM. Kim and Xi shaking hands. Another cliché showed a concert of a North Korean orchestra with a large portrait of Mr. Xi projected in the background. Several delegations of foreign artists participate in the current festival in Pyongyang. KCNA has also published a report about Kim’s wife, which is relatively rare, indicating that she had attended a show given by Chinese artists in the absence of her husband.