Chinese President Xi Jinping told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that Beijing was willing to work with Pyongyang for world peace, North Korean state media said Saturday.
The message from Xi came days after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile in one of its most powerful tests yet, declaring it would meet perceived US nuclear threats with nukes of its own.
North Korea has conducted a record-breaking blitz of missile launches in recent weeks and fears have grown that it is building up to a seventh nuclear test, its first since 2017.
In his message to Kim, Xi said Beijing was ready to work with the North for “peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region and the world,” Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
Xi said he was willing to collaborate with Pyongyang as “changes in the world, times, and history are taking place in unprecedented ways,” KCNA said, quoting from the message it said was received in response to congratulations from Kim after the Chinese Communist Party Congress last month handed Xi a third term.
Days before North Korea’s ICBM launch, Xi met on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Bali with US President Joe Biden, who voiced confidence that Beijing does not want to see a further escalation by Pyongyang.
Washington has said it wants China, Pyongyang’s most important ally and economic benefactor, to use its influence to help rein in North Korea.
The November 18 missile launch appeared to be Pyongyang’s newest ICBM with the potential range to hit the US mainland.
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