Chinese President Xi Jinping might visit North Korea in June, following the summit between Washington and Pyongyang.
Citing multiple sources, Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the matter appears to have been discussed between the regime's leader Kim Jong-un and Song Tao, a senior Chinese diplomat, visiting Pyongyang with a Chinese art delegation.
Although Beijing's foreign ministry did not confirm the details of the discussion, it did say that high-level exchanges play a crucial role in the relationship between the two allies.
"Not long ago, President Xi Jinping said that he would like to keep in touch with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the new era through exchanges, envoy visits, messages to each other and other methods to maintain constant contact."
Mending its relations with Beijing appears to be crucial for North Korea, especially with its scheduled summit with Washington.
And China on its part appears to be trying to ramp up its influence over the Korean Peninsula by improving its relations with Pyongyang, at a time when Washington-Beijing tensions remain high.
The Pyongyang performance by the Chinese art troupe is also a sign of warming ties between Beijing and the North, after Kim's landmark visit to the Chinese capital last month.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.