A North Korean mouthpiece has hinted the kingdom's nuclear programmes will not be on any negotiating table just as when a top Chinese envoy is set to land in Pyongyang for vital talks. The Rodong Sinmun daily said the nuclear activities are meant as a deterrent against the US' assertions in the region.
China is sending its senior diplomat, President Xi Jinping's special envoy, to North Korea and he is expected to reach Pyongyang later on Friday, 17 November. This is a major step considering China, a long-time geopolitical ally and trading partner of North Korea, has been increasingly frustrated with the Kim Jong-un regime for defiantly pursuing its weapons programmes.
Shortly prior to the arrival of the Chinese representative Song Tao, the Rodong Sinmun carried a thinly veiled dispatch under the title "US should abandon stupid ambition", emphasising talks on the North's nuclear plans will not be discussed with anyone.
"The conclusion that our army and people have reached via the history of North Korea-US confrontations is there is no way other than standing against the repressive US imperialists only with a nuclear deterrent of justice," said Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party that often mirrors the views of the Kim Jong-un regime.
Though the imminent visit by Chinese diplomat has raised a widespread expectation that it might help to ease the threats emerging from North Korea, Beijing has played down the purpose of Song's trip.
"The purpose of this visit is to brief about the party congress and exchange views on issues of common interest and bilateral interest," said Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
Song's visit also takes place against the backdrop of the US President Donald Trump finishing his 12-day-long Asia trip, which was dominated by discussions on North Korea. In his stopover in China, Trump urged Xi to use his influence in heaping pressure on the hermit kingdom.
As Song embarks on his trip, the American leader has sent out an early morning tweet signalling he is hoping for some kind of a breakthrough. "China is sending an Envoy and Delegation to North Korea - A big move, we'll see what happens!" Trump wrote.