China willing to help drought-stricken North Korea

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the government was willing to help drought-stricken North Korea, after the isolated country said it was suffering its worst drought in a century.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing, “China is willing to provide the aid that is needed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” he added, without providing details.

China’s ties with North Korea have been strained over Pyongyang’s banned nuclear program. North Korea is under United Nations sanctions because of its nuclear tests and missile launches.

Beijing is Pyongyang’s last major ally, but relations have soured in recent years, while Beijing has grown closer to Seoul.

However, China is still a significant source of aid to North Korea, much of which happens off book.

[Reuters]

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