N Korea offers support for Beijing over HK protests, condemning ‘foreign forces’

13-Aug-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

North Korea has expressed its support for China over the protests in Hong Kong as the city enters its 10th week of mass demonstrations.

A spokesperson for North Korea’s foreign ministry accused unspecified “foreign forces” of “interfering” with Hong Kong affairs, backing Beijing’s allegations the unrest is the work of the US.

“We fully support the stand and measures of the Chinese party and government for defending the sovereignty, security and reunification of the country and safeguarding the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” the spokesperson said on Sunday, according to North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

“It is our principled stand that any country, entity and individual should not be allowed to destroy the sovereignty and security of China and ‘one country and two systems’ as Hong Kong is Hong Kong of China.”

The spokesperson accused foreign forces of “interfering in the Hong Kong issue, the internal affair of China”, adding that “we express concern about this attempt and oppose and reject it”.

Hong Kong police again clashed with protesters on Sunday, using tear gas in several parts of the city and firing rubber bullets inside a train station. Protesters responded by throwing petrol bombs and bricks.

Pyongyang is a close ally of Beijing and Kim Jong-un’s regime relies on China for food and fuel but ties have fluctuated, particularly where Beijing’s willingness to maintain international sanctions has been concerned.

Nonetheless, since March 2018, Kim has visited China four times. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Pyongyang two months ago, becoming the first Chinese leader to enter North Korea in 14 years.

In contrast, a group of representatives from 92 South Korean NGOs last week rallied in Seoul to support Hong Kong citizens “seeking to protect democracy and human rights”.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying last month said the protests are “the work of the United States” after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Beijing to “do the right thing” in dealing with the protests.

She alleged US “interference”, citing meetings held by US vice-President Mike Pence, national security adviser John Bolton and Pompeo with Hong Kong opposition figures.

“There have been many American faces in the violent parade in Hong Kong, and even some American flags,” Hua said. “Those who play with fire only get themselves burned.”

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV last week published an image of US diplomat Julie Eadeh meeting Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong in the lobby of a luxury hotel, and accused Eadeh of being a “black hand” behind the protests.



Category: Hong Kong

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