BEIJING, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) — A key aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has failed to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing where a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of China’s World War II victory took place, sources said Thursday.
Choe Ryong-hae, a member of the Politburo Presidium and the secretary of the Central Committee of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, flew back to Pyongyang Thursday afternoon after attending the parade at Tiananmen Square in the morning, the sources said.
Although he did attend a reception that shortly followed, Choe failed to hold a one-on-one talk with Xi, they added.
Choe’s short trip stands in contrast to a three-day visit by South Korean President Park Geun-hye to China.
Park arrived in Beijing Wednesday and together with Xi, warned the North against more provocations amid speculations that it may carry out a missile or nuclear test in October to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party.
It remains unclear, however, whether Choe held talks with other Chinese officials while there. But with no meeting with Xi, Choe is unlikely to have carried a hand-written letter from Kim.
Analysts are divided as to what role Choe was expected to play for North Korea-China relations. Some have argued Choe was sent to mend recently frayed ties, while others have said the fact Kim decided against visiting China himself suggests anti-Chinese sentiment.