Asia

China ambassador arrives in North Korea in sign of reopening

BEIJING: China said on Tuesday (Mar 28) that its new ambassador to North Korea has taken up his post, in a sign the North is reopening amid reports it has been suffering heavily from the COVID-19 pandemic and food shortages.

Wang Yajun will help in the development of the traditional friendship between the “close neighbours sharing mountains and rivers”, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a daily briefing.

China is North Korea’s main source of economic aid and political support, but interactions have been disrupted by travel restrictions imposed in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The ambassador’s posting comes as North Korean state media reported that leader Kim Jong Un urged his nuclear scientists to increase the production of weapons-grade material to make bombs to put on the country’s widening range of weapons.

The report Tuesday followed a series of missile launches — seven this month alone — and rising threats to use the weapons against North Korea’s enemies.

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