Asia-Pacific

North Korea FM reaffirms denuclearisation

North Korea's foreign minister says his country remains committed to denuclearisation and maintaining peace on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea's commitment to denuclearisation and maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula are unchanged, its foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, says.

He made the comment on Friday at a meeting in Beijing with the Chinese government's top diplomat, Wang Yi.

China is the North's most important economic and diplomatic backer, despite anger over its neighbour's nuclear and missile programs.

Ties have warmed in the last year as Pyongyang's relations with both Seoul and Washington have also improved.

Ri added that North Korea hoped to build "required mutual trust" with the United States and "move in the same direction", the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on the meeting of the two officials.

At a landmark June summit in Singapore, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump pledged to work towards denuclearisation, but the pact was sketchy and talks since have made little headway.

Wang said China and North Korea should maintain "high-level exchanges" to ensure the successful outcome of events to mark the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties next year.

"China and North Korea must continue to push the peninsula toward the direction of denuclearisation," the ministry cited Wang as saying.

Ri, who is due to leave China on Saturday, visited Syria earlier this week.

Kim has visited China three times this year for meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Diplomatic sources say Xi will probably go to North Korea at some point soon.

Xi intends to visit North Korea next year after receiving an invitation from Kim, South Korea said last month, which would make Xi the first Chinese leader to do so since 2005.

Last weekend, Trump said he was likely to meet Kim again in January or February, with three possible sites being considered for their second meeting.

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