On Donald Trump's recent trip to South Korea, the USA president toned down his rhetoric and urged North Korea to come to the table and "make a deal".
"And hopefully China will act faster and more effectively on this problem than anyone", he said.
But neither the White House or Beijing gave any indication of whether China would go further than the latest round of United Nations Security Council sanctions which are estimated to cut US$1 billion from North Korea's foreign revenue when they come into full effect in January.
Chinese banks have stopped dealing with North Korea after the U.S. unilaterally sanctioned the Bank of Dandong.
Mr Song last visited North Korea 18 months ago. The department is by tradition responsible for handling relations with fellow socialist countries such as North Korea. "It remains to be seen whether that will be part of China's diplomatic strategy or is meant to send a message to the North on its nuclear and missile programs".
Washington has urged China to intensify use of its economic leverage over North Korea to strongarm Pyongyang into halting its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.
On Tuesday, Yun told reporters in Seoul that he does not know why the North has halted its provocations as Pyongyang has not communicated with the U.S.in that regard, but he urged the North to stay provocation-free "for a period of time", adding that it would be a "good start".
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