SEOUL: Chinese President Xi Jinping told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that Beijing is ready to work with Pyongyang for world peace, North Korean state media said on Saturday.
Xi’s message came days after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile in one of its most powerful tests yet, saying it would respond to perceived US nuclear threats with its own nuclear weapons. .
North Korea has carried out a record campaign of missile launches in recent weeks and fears are growing over preparations for a seventh nuclear test, its first since 2017.
In his message to Kim, Xi said Beijing stands ready to work with the North for “peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region and the world”, Korea’s official Central News Agency said. Pyongyang (KCNA) reported.
Xi said he was willing to collaborate with Pyongyang because “changes in the world, times and history are happening in unprecedented ways,” KCNA said, citing the message reportedly received in response to congratulations from Kim after the Chinese Communist Party. Last month, Congress gave Xi a third term.
Days before North Korea’s launch of the ICBM, Xi met on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Bali with US President Joe Biden, who said he believed Beijing did not want to see a new escalation from Pyongyang.
Washington has said it wants China, Pyongyang’s most important ally and economic benefactor, to use its influence to help subdue North Korea.
The Nov. 18 missile launch appeared to be Pyongyang’s newest ICBM with potential range to hit the American mainland.
The UN Security Council called a public meeting on the launch, with the United States, Britain, France and India among 14 nations to “strongly condemn” Pyongyang’s actions.
But a Western diplomat told AFP that China and Russia chose not to put their names on Monday’s statement.
Earlier this month, the United States accused Beijing and Moscow of shielding Pyongyang from further sanctions.
In May, China and Russia vetoed a US-led effort to tighten sanctions against North Korea in response to earlier launches.
Pyongyang already faces several rounds of international sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and China accounts for more than 90% of the impoverished country’s bilateral trade.

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