A step forward as China 'special envoy' to travel to North Korea

Joseph Yun, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, reportedly said at a recent meeting that if North Korea halted nuclear and missile testing for about 60 days, that would be the signal Washington needs to resume direct dialogue with Pyongyang. The move follows President Donald Trump's visit to China last week, where he pushed Beijing to use its influence to pressure Kim Jong Un into stopping his nuclear war threats.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is dispatching a special envoy to visit North Korea this week, a week after he hosted USA counterpart Donald Trump in Beijing.

The announcement did not mention Trump or the U.S.

The UN sanctions include China closing all North Korean businesses and joint ventures in China, capping oil supply and preventing any more North Koreans from working in China to earn cash for the regime.

"Song will inform the DPRK of the 19th CPC National Congress and visit the DPRK", it said, referring to the abbreviation of North Korea's full name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"President Xi of China has stated that he is upping the sanctions against #NoKo".

United States officials want Chinese authorities to clamp down on unauthorised trade that they say is still trickling across the North Korean border.

In a brief dispatch, the official Xinhua news agency said Song Tao, who heads the ruling Communist Party's external affairs department, would leave for North Korea on Friday.

Song would become the first high-level Chinese official to visit North Korea since October 2015, when a member of the Communist Party Politburo committee met with Kim.

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