June 5 (UPI) -- North Korea's top diplomat said Pyongyang supports the Chinese government on the "Hong Kong issue," state media said.
Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA reported Friday North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son Kwon expressed support for Chinese policies to China's Ambassador to North Korea Li Jinjun.
During a meeting at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on Thursday, Ri reportedly told Li the Hong Kong issue is "China's internal affairs."
The North Korean foreign minister then said the "interference of external forces [on the issue of Hong Kong] is a violent infringement of China's sovereignty and international law."
"We [North Korea] shall actively support the position of the Chinese [Communist] Party and the government, and their right to defend their sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity."
According to KCNA, Li "expressed gratitude" and said the Chinese side will "strengthen cooperation" for "socialist construction and development," while "striving to realize common ideals and goals."
The Chinese ambassador reportedly said he wished North Korea "monumental results" on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Workers' Party. Pyongyang is expected to observe the anniversary on Oct. 10.
According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, North Korea has increasingly voiced support for China as Beijing confronts the United States amid rising tensions over trade and the global coronavirus pandemic.
As friction increased over a new security law for Hong Kong on Saturday, a North Korean foreign ministry spokesperson said Pyongyang supports the "legitimate measure" that would ultimately criminalize anyone in Hong Kong challenging Beijing's authority.
Protesters have continued to gather in the city.
The BBC reported tens of thousands of people defied a ban to hold a vigil on Thursday for the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square in Beijing.