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N. Korean premier meets new Chinese ambassador

07:43 May 18, 2023

SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korean Premier Kim Tok-hun has met with China's new ambassador to Pyongyang, the North's state media said Thursday.

Kim met Ambassador Wang Yajun, who paid a courtesy call, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall the previous day, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

The state media said the meeting was held in a "warm and friendly" atmosphere.

According to a separate statement released by the Chinese Embassy in North Korea on social media late Wednesday, Kim vowed that Pyongyang will push to further advance its friendly ties with China regardless of any changes in international politics.

Wang noted that the leaders of Pyongyang and Beijing have maintained strategic communications despite COVID-19, saying he hopes the two countries will bolster their ties and cooperate closely in many fields going forward.

Wang began his official duty in early April, after his arrival in the secretive state was delayed for more than two years due to the North's pandemic-related border restrictions. He was appointed as Beijing's top envoy to Pyongyang in February 2021.

Last week, he met with North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui who vowed Pyongyang's "steadfast" willingness to further develop friendly ties between their nations.

North Korea has been strengthening its ties with China, the North's traditional ally and economic benefactor, amid global sanctions on its nuclear and missile programs, and stalled denuclearization talks with the United States.

North Korean Premier Kim Tok-hun (R) meets with China's new ambassador in Pyongyang, Wang Yajun, on May 17, 2023, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)



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