2023 03 16t101703z 1 lynxmpej2f0ds rtroptp 3 northkorea rights un

Chinese ambassador arrives in North Korea as signal for reopening

BEIJING (AFP) – China said on Tuesday (28 March) that a new ambassador to North Korea had assumed his post as a sign that North Korea is reopening amid reports that the country is suffering severely from the COVID-19 pandemic and food shortages.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Maoning said at a daily briefing that Yajun Wang would help develop traditional friendships between “neighbors who share close mountains and rivers”.

China is a major source of economic and political support for North Korea, but exchanges have been disrupted due to travel restrictions imposed in an attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The ambassador’s post comes after North Korean state media reported that Kim Jong-un has urged nuclear scientists to increase production of weapons-grade materials to create bombs for the country’s wide-ranging arsenal.

Tuesday’s report follows a series of missile launches (seven this month alone) and an increasing threat to use weapons against North Korea’s enemies.

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