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N. Korea's FM expresses strong support for China amid conflict with U.S.

North Korea 21:18 June 05, 2020

SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's top diplomat has expressed strong support for China amid the growing geopolitical conflict between Beijing and Washington, the North's media reported Friday.

North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Son-gwon, expressed support for Beijing during a meeting with Li Jinjun, Chinese ambassador to North Korea, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on Thursday, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency,

In the meeting, Ri stated that the North "will continue actively support the position of China's party and government aimed at defending the sovereignty, safety and the total unification of its land."

"The Hong Kong situation is a domestic affair of China, hence outside interference would be a violent violation of Chinese sovereignty and international law," Ri said.

Li responded by saying that the two countries will strengthen bilateral cooperation toward shared interests and the promotion and development of the socialist ideology.

Pyongyang as of late has been increasing public support for China in light of Beijing's growing tension with Washington and protestors in Hong Kong.

A spokesperson of North Korea's foreign ministry on May 30 backed China's controversial security legislation for Hong Kong, calling it a "legitimate step" and voicing opposition to "outside interference."

China pressed ahead with the legislation despite the U.S. warnings that it could revoke Hong Kong's trade privileges.

The legal push is expected to further escalate geopolitical tensions, posing a tricky diplomatic challenge to countries, like South Korea, that want to maintain good ties with both major powers.

In this file photo, Ri Son-gwon, then chairman of North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, speaks at a high-level inter-Korean meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom on Aug. 13, 2018. Ri is currently North Korea's foreign minister. (Yonhap)


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