North Korea's ambassador to China Ji Jae-Ryong speaks to journalists during a press conference at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing in May. Photo: Reuters/Wang Zhao

Yonhap is reporting that North Korea’s ambassador to Beijing, Ji Jae-ryong, attended a New Year’s reception that China’s foreign minister hosted for foreign diplomats on Tuesday.

Sources said it was his first public appearance in roughly two months, prompting speculation about warming relations between China and North Korea and whether some kind of important development or event is in the works.

During the reception, Ji reportedly shook hands and exchanged greetings with South Korean Ambassador Noh Young-min. It was their first meeting since Noh took office last fall, Yonhap said.

Noh told Ji that he hoped the inter-Korean talks that resumed ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will continue. Ji said in response that he hoped the Pyeongchang Olympics would be a success, according to sources.