Wednesday, April 4, 2018

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: China tells North Korea it appreciates its efforts on denuclearization



China lauded North Korea's "important efforts" to ease tension in the Korean Peninsula, according to a top diplomat Wang Yi who told to North Korea's foreign minister on Tuesday hours after he called both sides to stay focused on the talks.

China has traditionally been secretive North Korea’s closest ally, though ties had been frayed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and missiles and Beijing’s backing of tough U.N. sanctions in response.

But in late March Beijing vowed to uphold its friendship with its isolated neighbour and won a pledge from Kim to denuclearise the peninsula during a meeting with President Xi Jinping.

China’s Foreign Ministry gave only hours notice that Wang, a State Councillor and China’s Foreign Minister, would meet North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

Wang told Ri that Xi and Kim had reached an important consensus on achieving a peaceful resolution to the peninsula nuclear issue during Kim’s visit to Beijing, his first known trip outside North Korea since he assumed power in 2011.

“China appreciates North Korea’s position working towards denuclearisation of the peninsula and its important efforts to ease the situation on the peninsula, and supports meetings between the leaders of the North and South and between the North and the United States,” Wang said, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement.

The ministry cited Ri as saying that North Korea would “maintain close strategic communications” with China on peninsula-related issues, and that the Kim-Xi meeting was an “important juncture” in the development of bilateral relations.

North Korea’s official news agency KCNA had said that a delegation headed by Ri left on Tuesday to meet other foreign ministers in Azerbaijan and to visit Russia, but made no mention of China.

Source: Reuters

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