China has appointed a second senior official from the diplomatic agency that traditionally deals with North Korea as the new ambassador to its ally, Bloomberg reported.
Li Jinjun, deputy head of the Communist Party Central Committee’s International Department, will replace Liu Hongcai, a brief statement on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.
President Xi Jinping made the appointment in line with a decision of the national legislature.
Ties between Beijing and Pyongyang are at their lowest in history as North Korea conducts nuclear testing and tests missiles in defiance of United Nations resolutions that Beijing supports.
In a snub to Pyongyang in July last year, Xi became the first Chinese president to visit South Korea before visiting its northern neighbor, which he has yet to do.
The party’s International Department, in charge of diplomatic matters with political parties in other countries, was set up in 1951 and is of the same rank as the foreign ministry.
One of its chief functions is to handle foreign relations with other communist countries, including North Korea.
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