Chinese Vice Premier arrives in North Korea

October 23, Li Keqiang with Kang Sok-ju at the airport.

The Chinese vice premier, Li Keqiang, arrived Sunday in Pyongyang on the eve of a meeting between U.S. officials and North Korea in Geneva to discuss the nuclear program.

Li Keqiang, ready to succeed Wen Jiabao in 2013, believes that his visit would help revive the six-party talks on the denuclearization of North Korea, according to a statement released by Xinhua News Agency.

China appreciates the positive efforts from North Korea to improve relations between the South and the North, and for the resumption of six-party talks, the statement added.

Beijing wants to resume six-party talks hosted in China. The talks, which group the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, aim to convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for substantial assistance.

Pyongyang officially quitted in April 2009, one month prior to a second nuclear test. In 2010, the North was accused by the South to have sunk a South Korean corvette, then attacked a South Korean island.

China is the main ally of North Korea and acts as a buoy for the economic system of DPRK.

The visit will conclude Tuesday and Chinese Vice Premier will then travel to South Korea for two days.

A delegation of U.S. officials to meet Monday and Tuesday in Geneva with a North Korean delegation about Pyongyang’s nuclear program. This will be the second high-level meeting between the two parties in three months.

A meeting took place in New York in late July 2011, for the first time since late 2009.

Washington expects a formal commitment from the last Stalinist regime on the planet not to conduct nuclear tests and not to attack South Korea.

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