23:24 GMT18 May 2021
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - China will promote North Korea’s economic growth and national development, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Singapore on Friday.

    "The Chinese side is ready to provide North Korea with all possible assistance to help it develop economically and as a nation," the minister said as he stood alongside North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

    Speaking at the Asia-Pacific forum, Wang Yi praised Pyongyang for taking steps to fulfill the promises it made to the United States on June 12.

    In turn, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said that Pyongyang wants to work with China to secure a lasting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

    "China has played an important role in maintaining stability on the Korean peninsula and in promoting denuclearization. North Korea is ready to keep up strategic contacts with China and jointly protect stability and development on the Korean peninsula and in the region," Ri Yong Ho said on the sidelines of the ASEAN regional forum, which brought together ten Southeast Asia group member states and foreign ministers from other Asia-Pacific nations.

    US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged after their historic summit they would work toward ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

    Wang Yi said he hoped that North Korea would continue acting on its commitments and urged the United States to mind Pyongyang’s concerns. He said China was open to contacts with both countries to ensure a lasting peace.

    Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday, commenting on the US president's words about obstacles that the country was allegedly creating for Washington in the talks with Pyongyang that China has always consistently advocated for political settlement and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

    The situation on the Korean Peninsula has significantly improved over the last months, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un having held several rounds of talks with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in and a summit with Trump in Singapore.

    In July, Trump said, however, that China may be exerting negative pressure on the agreement reached with Kim to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula over the trade row with the United States, and expressed hope that this would not happen. Trump did not elaborate on specific types of China’s alleged negative pressure.


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