Renewable Energy

China's Xi leaves for first state visit to North Korea

Credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV

Chinese President Xi Jinping departed for Pyongyang on Thursday on a state visit to North Korea, state media said, accompanied by a clutch of senior officials, including the head of the state economic planner.

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BEIJING, June 20 (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping departed for Pyongyang on Thursday on a state visit to North Korea, state media said, accompanied by a clutch of senior officials, including the head of the state economic planner.

Xi will be in North Korea for two days becoming the first Chinese leader to visit the reclusive country in 14 years, and could bring fresh support measures for its floundering, sanctions-bound economy.

Neighbouring China is the reclusive North's only major ally, and the visit comes amid renewed tension on the Korean peninsula as the United States seeks to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

Xi's entourage includes China's two top diplomats and He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, state media said in a brief dispatch about his departure.

While China has signed up to United Nations sanctions for the North's repeated nuclear and missile tests and has said it is enforcing them fully, despite some U.S. doubts, it has suggested sanctions relief for the country.

China, engaged in a bitter trade war with the United States, has also defended its "normal" trade and business ties with North Korea.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry and Clarence Fernandez)

((ben.blanchard@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 6627 1201; Reuters Messaging: ben.blanchard.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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