Beijing, April 3 (IANS) China’s Foreign Minister met his North Korean counterpart here on Tuesday amid a continuing climate of rapprochement between the two countries following years of strained ties over the North’s repeated missile tests in violation of UN sanctions.
During the meeting, Wang Yi told Ri Yong-ho that China appreciated North Korea’s commitment to denuclearise the Korean peninsula and its efforts to ease tension in the region, according to a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Wang added that China supported North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s upcoming summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April and US President Donald Trump in May and stressed that Beijing would continue to advocate peace talks, Efe news reported.
Ri said that North Korea will maintain strategic communication with China on matters related to the peninsula, following the directions outlined in the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kim in Beijing last week.
The North Korean Foreign Minister had stopped over in Beijing on his way to Azerbaijan, where he will take part in the ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement on April 4-5 as part of a trip that includes an official visit to Russia.
Kim’s China visit, his first overseas trip since coming to power in December 2011, had rejuvenated the North’s ties with China’s communist regime — a major economic and ideological ally of North Korea for decades — after years of strained ties over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programme and China’s support for UN sanctions against the hermetic regime.