Posted January. 16, 2009 07:58,
A leading official from the Chinese Communist Party is expected to visit North Korea this month, the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun said yesterday.
Beijing and Pyongyang are discussing the visit of Wang Jiarui, head of the party`s international liaison department, to the North, the report said.
Wang is reportedly close to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Kim often saw Wang when the Chinese official visited the North, the paper said.
Speculation is rising over whether the two will hold a meeting despite the continuing rumors of Kims poor health.
Wang will discuss reciprocal visits by top officials of the two countries around the time of the 60th anniversary celebration of bilateral diplomatic ties slated for this year.
Wang has talked to Kim whenever a major problem erupted in the North, such as ahead of Kims visit to China in Jan. 2004 and right after Pyongyang`s declaration of its possession of nuclear weapons in Feb. 2005.