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North Korea sends envoy to Beijing

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PYONGYANG, North Korea – After months of ignoring Chinese warnings to give up nuclear weapons, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a high-level confidante to Beijing on Wednesday, in a possible effort to mend strained ties with his country’s most important ally and a sign that he may be giving diplomacy a chance.The trip by Vice Marshal Choe Ryong Hae, a senior Workers’ Party official and the military’s top political officer, is taking place as tensions ease somewhat on the Korean Peninsula after near-daily vows from Pyongyang to attack Washington and Seoul in March and April.The United States, Japan, South Korea, China and Russia have been busy discussing how best to engage with the North Koreans. Japan sent an envoy to North Korea last week to discuss decades-old abductions of its citizens, a move that has drawn concern among allies of Tokyo who want denuclearization to be the focus of talks.

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