Sept. 3 (UPI) -- China's top diplomat discussed the anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong during his three-day visit to North Korea that began Monday, according to multiple press reports.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho on Monday, with the two sides reaffirming the "traditional friendship" between the neighboring countries, Xinhua news agency reported.
During the discussions held ahead of a potential meeting between Wang and Kim Jong Un later this week, Ri reportedly showed support for China's position on the issue of the extradition bill and the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's citizens have called for the permanent withdrawal of the bill and for democratic reform; China has called the protesters "rioters" and has shown signs it may intervene if the rallies continue despite a brutal crackdown.
Ri, who recently said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is "poisonous" to diplomacy, said the international community should not concern itself with the events in Hong Kong.
"Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong, and no foreign power should intervene," Ri said, according to South Korean news service Newsis.
Ri also said the Korean Workers' Party supports China's "one-country, two systems" policy in Hong Kong and stands by China's right to protect its territory and national sovereignty.
Wang is in North Korea to reaffirm the friendship between the two countries following multiple summits between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kim, according to South Korean news service News 1.
Xi and Kim have met five times, most recently in Pyongyang, where Kim hosted Xi for his first state visit.
The two countries are observing the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations. On Thursday, Wang said the summits "greatly elevated the traditional friendship and strategic trust between the two countries" that has culminated in a new era for bilateral relations.
Economic activity between the two sides has increased since Xi's visit to North Korea in June, including Chinese inbound tourism to North Korea, according to reports.