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North Korea security concerns not being addressed, Beijing says

Kim Jong Un defended North Korea's nuclear arsenal on the 67th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, according to North Korean state media Tuesday. Photo by Jeon Heon-kyun/EPA-EFE
Kim Jong Un defended North Korea's nuclear arsenal on the 67th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, according to North Korean state media Tuesday. Photo by Jeon Heon-kyun/EPA-EFE

July 28 (UPI) -- China is calling for dialogue following a statement from Kim Jong Un on Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Tuesday at a regular press briefing North Korea's security concerns are not being addressed in the international community, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

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The Chinese statement comes after the Trump administration and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have repeatedly expressed a commitment to talks on denuclearization. North Korea has yet to respond to those offers of dialogue, however.

"The current peace process on the Korean Peninsula is in a challenging phase," Wang said. "That North Korea's reasonable concerns are not being respected is the main issue."

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"We must make efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and to realize permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and the region," Wang said.

China is reacting to North Korean statements after KCNA reported Tuesday Kim marked the 67th anniversary of the Korean War armistice with a speech highlighting North Korean advances in nuclear weaponry.

"With our reliable and effective self-defense of a nuclear deterrent, there will be no more wars on this territory, and our country's security and future will be forever guaranteed," Kim said on the day North Korea refers to as the day of "victory in the fatherland liberation war."

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Kim also said the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a truce, was an event of "pain and grief" that must not be repeated.

North Korea has overcome "all kinds of pressure and challenges to walk the path of a self-developed nuclear power," Kim said.

The North Korean leader also referred to the United States and its allies as "imperialists" with "bestial characteristics," without mentioning those countries by name.

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China was referred to as a true friend who deserves tribute, however.

Chinese authorities have been instrumental in the forced repatriation of North Korean defectors, the majority of them who are women.

On Tuesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said the defectors are beaten, detained under unsanitary conditions and suffer from malnutrition in North Korea after being returned from China.

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