Secretary of N. Korean ruling party to visit China
The secretary of North Korea's ruling party is to visit China later this week, Chinese media reported Sunday, amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula following the North's abrupt attack on the South, Yonhap news agency reported.
Choe Tae-bok, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party, will make a five-day visit to China starting on Tuesday, said China's state-run Xinhua News Agency in its Chinese-language report.
According to the report, the visit is in response to an invitation from Wu Bangguo, China's top legislator and the country's second-ranking official.
The visit was announced five days after North Korea's deadly shelling on South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island near the inter-Korean border.
The attack killed two marines and as many civilians, drawing international condemnation and angering South Koreans, who came under the communist neighbor's first attack targeting civilians since the 1950-53 Korean War.
Defying North Korea's threats, South Korea and the United States launched large-scale naval drills off the Korean Peninsula's west coast Sunday with the aircraft carrier USS George Washington participating, in a potent show of force against the North.