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N Korea at crossroads

North Korean, Mongolian foreign ministers agree to boost ties

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told China that Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization has not changed.   © Reuters

ULAN BATOR (Kyodo) -- The Mongolian Foreign Ministry announced Sunday that Foreign Minister Damdin Tsogtbaatar and his visiting North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho exchanged views on the further development of bilateral ties in talks held the previous day in the capital.    

Ri was quoted as saying that Pyongyang is striving for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and that "trust in the region is indispensable."     Tsogtbaatar lauded the concrete progress made toward peace and stability of the region through the efforts of the countries involved and stressed the importance of resolving problems through talks. He also urged North Korea to take further steps toward denuclearization.    

On Friday, Ri told Chinese President Xi Jinping in a meeting in Beijing that Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization has not changed, ahead of a potential second summit between the North and the United States early next year.    

The two sides celebrated the successful development of bilateral relations in culture, education, sports and humanities, and agreed on the possibility of future cooperation in the socioeconomic sphere.    

North Korea and Mongolia are this year marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.    

Ri arrived in Mongolia on Saturday for a two-day visit on a tour that has already taken him to Vietnam, Syria and China. All four countries have a traditionally friendly relationship with North Korea.

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