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Song's visit is the first public visit of a high-profile Chinese envoy to Pyongyang this year

Experts warned not to expect major advances on North Korea's nuclear program

CNN  — 

A senior Chinese diplomat will travel to North Korea on Friday as a “special envoy” of Chinese president Xi Jinping amid growing pressure on Pyongyang to curtail its nuclear and missile program.

The move comes after US President Donald Trump wrapped up his 13-day Asia trip, where he called for more diplomatic measures to be applied to North Korea, singling out China to do more.

But observers cautioned against any expectations of an imminent solution to the nuclear crisis, saying, if anything, the visit was another step in the warming of relations between the two formerly close allies.

“Everyone’s looking for a breakthrough on the impasse over the nuclear missile program and obviously that’s part of the mix but … this looks more like the main focus is on improving the Xi, Kim channel somewhat and seeing what can be done,” said John Delury, associate professor at the Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul.