Kim Jong Un meets senior Chinese official

The asiatic toads often go ashore after rain when the air is humid and the temperature is low

Though North Korea is widely seen as a regime notorious for its human-rights violations and bellicose rhetoric, like other countries, it observes several national and traditional holidays.

This time, Beijing sent Mr. Song and an art troupe to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, to attend an global art festival.

According to the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sunday, Kim met Song Tao, head of the worldwide liaison department at the Central Committee of the Communist Party, on Saturday. Kim is reported to have welcomed the delegation, saying he will mobilize relevant departments to provide the greatest hospitality.

Observers say the media coverage on the birthday of the country's late founder and Kim Jong Un's grandfather underscores the North's intentions to strengthen ties with China ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the United States.

Kim expressed "satisfaction" over the recent development related to the bilateral relations between the two countries, the KCNA said, apparently pointing to his surprise visit to Beijing last month and summit talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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