North Korea has denounced foreign interference in the affairs of the Chinese city of Hong Kong, expressing support for Beijing’s decisions regarding the city.
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Son-gwon made the remark in a meeting with China’s Ambassador to the country Li Jinju, North Korea’s KCNA state news agency reported on Friday.
“The Hong Kong issue is China’s internal affair, and external interference violates China’s sovereignty,” Foreign Minister Ri said.
He stressed that Pyongyang would actively support the Chinese government in defending its national sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity.
The Chinese envoy, for his part, expressed gratitude for North Korea’s support.
Hong Kong’s parliament has adopted a new law on national security that is expected to criminalize sedition, secession, and subversion against the mainland. It would also pave the way for Chinese national security institutions to operate in Hong Kong for the first time since 1997, when Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule.
Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, have provocatively criticized the new law and attempted to undermine Chinese sovereignty over semi-autonomous Hong Kong.
US President Donald Trump last week announced a plan to strip Hong Kong of its privileged trading status with the US. Trump claimed the new legislation would dent Hong Kong’s autonomy and threatened to impose sanctions on Hong Kong officials who supported the law.
The US has also pushed the matter onto the agenda of the United Nations Security Council, even though it is an internal affair of a sovereign country.
Protests erupted in the semi-autonomous Hong Kong after the law was proposed by Beijing on May 22. Skeptics say the law would be a blow to the territory’s autonomy and civil liberties, but Beijing has assured that the law would target a minority of individuals who disregard law and order in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was rocked by violent protests over another bill that would have reformed its extradition law last year. Rioters vandalized the city, destroying public and private property and attacking anyone deemed to be pro-government. Hong Kong dropped that bill, but the acts of violence continued.
On Thursday, North Korea said Washington was in no position to criticize China over Hong Kong or human rights issues when Trump threatens to “unleash dogs” to repress anti-racism protests in America itself.