China and North Korea hold talks on nuclear weapons programme

The foreign ministers of China and North Korea held talks in Beijing yesterday amid a lack of progress in international efforts to persuade Kim Jong Un's regime to halt its nuclear weapons programme.

China's President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho. Picture: Fred Dufour/Pool Photo via AP

Details of the discussions Ri Yong Ho and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi were not immediately released.

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China is North Korea’s most important ally, but has agreed to increasingly strict United Nations economic sanctions over Pyongyang’s drive to develop nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles to deliver them. Ri is also expected to be briefed on discussions last week between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, who recently said his next meeting with Kim would likely happen in January or February.

Despite initial optimism generated by Kim and Trump’s June summit meeting in Singapore, diplomacy has come to a halt amid disputes over a US demand North Korea first produce a full inventory of its nuclear weapons.