Chinese vice president to visit North Korea

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Associated Press

Posted on July 24, 2013 at 1:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 24 at 1:04 AM

BEIJING (AP) — China says Vice President Li Yuanchao will visit North Korea this week for Korean War commemorations following a period of strained relations between the communist neighbors.

The Foreign Ministry said Li will visit from Thursday through Sunday for commemorations of the end of the Korean War. China fought on the North's side in the 1950-53 conflict against U.N. forces led by the United States.

Li will be the highest-level Chinese official to visit North Korea since Kim Jong Un took over as leader of the impoverished hardline communist state following the death of his father in December 2011.

China registered its displeasure with the North over missile firings and a nuclear test by agreeing to tightened U.N. sanctions. That prompted Pyongyang to send an envoy to Beijing in May.

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