China and North Korea foreign ministers hold first talks in two years

China and North Korea's top diplomats met Monday on the sidelines of a regional security meeting in Laos, according to a Chinese state media report.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho spoke during ASEAN meetings in the Laotian capital of Vientiane.

"It was the first meeting between the foreign ministers since Ri took his post two years ago," a statement on the state-run China Daily's official Weibo microblog page said.

Relations between the two neighbouring countries have been tense following North Korea's repeated missile launches.

North Korea test-launched two missiles last month, according to the South Korean Defence Ministry.

It marked the regime's sixth known launch of a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile, which has a range of 3,000 to 4,000 kilometres and could hit US targets as far away as Alaska.

Analysts say China is unwilling to use its full influence to pressure North Korea to slow its nuclear development programme, mostly out of concern that too much pressure would lead to the collapse of Kim Jong Un's regime.

This could potentially lead to a flood of North Korean refugees into China.

Last update: Mon, 25/07/2016 - 12:05

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