China to send envoy to North Korea

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Officials in the North Korean government are reportedly "trying to figure out" if Donald Trump is "crazy" or if his increasingly provocative stance against the rogue state is "just an act", a USA negotiator with Pyongyang has said.

Song Tao, the head of the worldwide department at the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), comes one week after Xi and US President Donald Trump held a summit in Beijing last Thursday.

The report did not say if Song would discuss North Korea's nuclear programme or meet the country's leader Kim Jong-un.

The announcement comes a week after Xi held a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, who ended his Asia tour Tuesday. Song will be the first Chinese official to make a trip to North Korea since October 2016, when Deputy Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin visited. "But we will never run from it", President Trump said.

North Korea appears to have taken offense to Trump's detailed description of North Korea's bleak human rights situation during his speech before South Korea's National Assembly and his call for reunification.

For the unversed, Trump has repeatedly called on China to do more to use its influence to pressure North Korea into altering its behaviour. He urged Xi to "work on it very hard".

"Representatives are dispatched to brief the other side at a chosen time and chosen level".

Pyongyang has also been increasingly critical of what it sees as China's willingness to deal with Trump, despite Chinese-North Korean economic ties and history as comrades in arms during the 1950-53 Korean War.

"This is a chance to see if he can open things up", he said.

He said that Xi pledged to implement United Nations sanctions that aim to deprive North Korea of revenues for its weapons programs "and to use his great economic influence over the regime to achieve our common goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula".

Tensions between North Korea and the U.S. have escalated in recent months following the rogue state's sixth nuclear bomb test on September 3, which earned more sanctions and condemnations from the UN.

In Seoul, for instance, he delivered a sharp warning to North Korea, saying: "Do not underestimate us".

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