Kim Jong Un meets senior Chinese official

Kim-jong un with Chinese officials

"According to the report, Kim expressed satisfaction with the meeting, saying he will "take the North Korea-China friendship to a whole new level, in line with new generational demands" by strengthening exchanges between high-level officials as well as cooperation and visits in various sectors".

In this April 14, 2018, photo provided Sunday, April 15, 2018, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, shakes hands with Song Tao, head of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee's worldwide department in North Korea.

Kim hosted a dinner banquet for Song and the art troupe on Saturday in Pyongyang, where North Korea's Samjiyon Orchestra played music and Song and Choe Ryong-hae, vice chairman of the Workers' Party's Central Committee, made a toast to improve North-China relations, the KCNA reported.

Beijing is North Korea's sole major ally, an alliance dating back to the 1950-1953 Korean War, but relations deteriorated after China supported United Nations sanctions to punish Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons programme.

Song arrived in Pyongyang last Friday to lead a Chinese art troupe performing in the North's April Spring Friendship Art Festival.

"First Lady Ri Sol Ju enjoyed a ballet choreodrama "Giselle" given by the National Ballet of China", KCNA reported, adding she held "friendly talk" with the guests ahead of the performance.

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Kim made his first visit to China in March, in a secret trip that reopened ties between the two governments after years of strained relations due to Beijing's opposition to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme and support of global sanctions against North Korea.

In the latest such exchanges, officials from the two Koreas met on Saturday at the North's side of the Demilitarised Zone to discuss setting up a hotline between their leaders, Seoul's presidential office said on Sunday.

"Exchanged in earnest at the meeting were profound views on the important matters of mutual concern. and the global situation", the KCNA said.

State-run television aired footage of Kim's meeting with Song Tao, the chief of China's Communist Party's International Department, in Pyongyang on Saturday.

Song met several North Korean officials, including Choe, but not Kim.

The festival is a part of the celebrations of the Day of the Sun, which commemorates the birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, founder and former president of North Korea. The visit comes after the 2 countries agreed to work on cultural sharing programs at a summit in Beijing last month.

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