Ri Ryong-nam, North Korea's new ambassador to China (Photo: Yonhap News)
North Korea's new ambassador to China has presented his credentials to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Ambassador Ri Ryong-nam conveyed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's warm greetings to Xi while presenting his credentials Wednesday, according to the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party.
It added that the Chinese leader also asked the envoy to send his greetings to Kim.
Presenting credentials is a customary procedure before foreign ambassadors begin official duty.
Ri, 61, was appointed to the post in February, replacing Ji Jae-ryong, who had served as the top envoy in China since 2010.
Ri worked as the trade minister in 2008 and as the external economic affairs minister until 2016, and had also served as the North's deputy premier handling foreign trade until recently.
His appointment was seen as aimed at strengthening economic ties and cooperation with North Korea's largest trade partner and patron.
The neighboring countries have shown off their friendly relations in recent years amid China's deepening rivalry with the United States and stalled denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington.
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