Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

North Korea commemorates birth of its founder

North Korea commemorates birth of its founder

She has made few public appearances in the past, but was praised for her fashion sense during her surprise visit to China with Kim. North Koreans are taught from an early age to revere their leaders, and portraits of the two late rulers gaze down in every home, school and workplace in the country.

The North Korean leader on Saturday "warmly" greeted Song Tao and a Chinese art delegation visiting Pyongyang to perform, and also sent his greetings to Chinese President Xi Jinping, the North's official Korea Central News Agency said.

At the meeting with Song, Kim also said the warm welcome was 'due obligation and behavior of the host and close friend for him, ' and would offer 'all conditions for the Chinese art troupe at the highest level and on a top-priority basis, ' according to the KCNA.

The troupe performed on Saturday at the Mansudae Art Theatre, and Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju watched the ballet Giselle performed by the National Ballet of China, but Kim was not present, KCNA said.

A high-ranking Beijing official met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while leading a group of Chinese performers to Pyongyang, in apparent attempts to strengthen bilateral ties.

"When the respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju appeared at the banquet hall together with Song Tao and other Chinese guests, all the participants enthusiastically welcomed them with loud applause", the article published on the "Supreme Leader's Activities" section of the ruling party-controlled newspaper Rodong Sinmun read.

Meanwhile, North Korea rolled out the red carpet for a 200-member Chinese delegation led by Song Tao, head of the Chinese Communist Party's International Liaison Department, who arrived in Pyongyang on Friday to mark the 106th birthday of Kim Il-sung.

Mr Kim is expected to hold summits with South Korean President Moon Jae In this month and US President Donald Trump in the following weeks.

Foreign reporters said there was no military propaganda, in contrast to previous years, as the country prepares for two upcoming summits with South Korea and the United States.

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