North Korea expresses support for China's measures in Hong Kong

FILE PHOTO: Head of the North Korean delegation, Ri Son Gwon talks with his South Korean counterpart Cho Myoung-gyon (not pictured) during their meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Korea Pool/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea’s foreign minister met with the Chinese ambassador to express support for China’s measures in Hong Kong, North Korea’s KCNA state news agency said on Friday.

Foreign minister Ri Son Gwon said that the issue of Hong Kong was an internal affair for China and that foreign interference in it violated the sovereignty of China and international law.

“He stressed that the DPRK will as always positively support the stand of the Chinese party and government,” KCNA cited Ri as saying.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is North Korea’s official name.

Chinese Ambassador Li Jinjun expressed gratitude for North Korea’s support, it said.

North Korea’s comments come after Beijing imposed a new national security law on Hong Kong that Western countries say could restrict freedoms in the former British colony.

North Korea said on Thursday the United States was in no position to criticise China over Hong Kong or human rights when Washington threatens to “unleash dogs” to suppress anti-racism protests, a reference to a tweet by president Donald Trump.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Peter Graff and Hugh Lawson