Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin (middle) and Hong Son Ok, a senior DPRK legislative official (right) read names of Chinese People’s Volunteers as they mark the 66th anniversary of their joining DPRK soldiers in the Korean War (1950-53).[Photo/Xinhua]
Beijing and Pyongyang held their third meeting of a joint border commission on Oct 25, agreeing to build new bridges over the Tumen River.
The meeting was co-chaired by visiting Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and his counterpart Pak Myong-guk, from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The move is a humanitarian rescue effort, and also the obligation of China, as the DPRK’s neighbor and a responsible country,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a news conference on Oct 26.
According to Lu, the reason behind the move is that the DPRK’s heavy vehicles transporting relief goods purchased from China have been unable to get through after strong rainfall caused by Typhoon Lionrock in August devastated hundreds of homes, leaving a large number of people homeless. The river marks part of the boundary between China, the DPRK and Russia.
Liu’s four-day visit, which began on Oct 24, has focused attention on whether Beijing is talking to the DPRK about its repeated nuclear tests and missile launches.
The trip is the first by a Chinese diplomat since the DPRK conducted a nuclear test in September.