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One of China's top leaders will lead a delegation to North Korea this week


BEIJING (AP) — A top Chinese leader will lead a delegation to North Korea this week, both countries announced Tuesday.

Zhao Leji, who is chairman of the National People's Congress and considered the No. 3 official in the ruling Communist Party, will visit North Korea from Thursday to Saturday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

No details were released on what was described as a goodwill visit, except that the delegation would attend the opening ceremony for the “China-North Korea Friendship Year.”

“The specific arrangements for the visit are still under negotiation,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said.

A dispatch from North Korea's official KCNA news agency also announced the trip.

Zhao is one of the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the Communist Party's top leadership body headed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping.