U.S., Chinese diplomats hold video talks on N. Korea-Russia military cooperation, defector repatriation

October 30, 2023

The U.S. special representative for North Korea held video talks with his Chinese counterpart Monday to discuss military cooperation between the North and Russia, China’s reported repatriation of North Korean escapees and other issues, the State Department said.

The talks between Ambassador Sung Kim and Liu Xiaoming, China’s special representative on Korean Peninsula affairs, came as Washington has encouraged Beijing to play a constructive role in addressing North Korea-related issues.

Atop the agenda was burgeoning military cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow. The United States has recently revealed that the North has shipped a large amount of military equipment and munitions to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine.

“He (Kim) noted that the DPRK’s recent arms transfers to Russia threaten to undermine global non-proliferation and violate numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions that Russia, itself, supported,” the State Department said in a readout. DPRK stands for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

He stressed the need for all U.N. members to fulfill “all their obligations” and “fully” implement the U.N. sanctions regime on the North, according to the department.

Kim reiterated the U.S.’ commitment to peace and stability on the peninsula and to diplomacy with the North, saying he looks forward to continued communication on North Korean issues “at all levels,” the department said.

The two sides also discussed China’s reported repatriation of North Korean escapees earlier this month. Washington has called for Beijing to abide by the international principle of non-refoulement.

The U.S. has recently been cranking up diplomacy with China as it strives to ensure security on the peninsula, prevent an escalation of the Israel-Hamas war and pave the way for a possible summit between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in San Francisco next month.