North Korean leader Kim Jong Un personally greeted a top Chinese official in Pyongyang and called for stronger ties with Beijing, state media said today, as the traditional allies seek to heal battered relations.
The delegation arrived just weeks after Kim made a surprise visit to Beijing and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, signalling an attempt by both leaders to shore up a key alliance ahead of a period of high-stakes diplomacy.
The two exchanged "profound views on the important matters of mutual concern" between their parties and the international situation, KCNA said, without providing details.
"The Supreme Leader said that he would positively carry forward and develop the traditional DPRK-China friendship into a fresh phase of development as required by a new era," it added, using the North's official acronym.
Beijing is North Korea's sole major ally, an alliance dating back to the 1950-1953 Korean War, but relations deteriorated after China backed United Nations sanctions to punish Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons programme.
More high-level exchanges and cooperation will follow between Beijing and Pyongyang, the report cited Kim as saying.
In response, Song vowed to make "a fresh contribution to promoting the prolonged and stable development of the China-DPRK relations".
Song is leading a Chinese art troupe attending a spring art festival in Pyongyang held as part of the commemorations for the anniversary of the birth of the North's founder Kim Il Sung on April 15, 1912.
Both North Korean and foreign artists take part, and this year's week-long event includes concerts, dance performances and acrobatics.
KCNA also issued a rare separate report on Kim's wife who attended a performance by the Chinese art troupe yesterday in the absence of her husband.
China has sent art troupes to every festival since 1986, except in 2016.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)