China is moving ahead with the free trade relationship with North Korea despite the third nuclear test that kept China in international spotlight.
China was one of the most noticeable countries that joined the United States and South Korea in criticizing the nuclear test by the North Korea. However China has so far not made any clear comments to rebuke the free trade relationship with its Asian ally, North Korea.
Citing an official at the Rason economic zone's joint management office, Reuters Thursday reported that China is heading with plans to invest in North Korea.
"All the people of the management office are still here working as usual... If there is any major impact (from the nuclear test), do you think we would still be here?" the official told Reuters from Rason in the converging border areas of North Korea, China and Russia.
"All works are proceeding as planned," said the official.
Without disclosing his identity and designation at the Rason's management office, the official said that there are about 60 Chinese and North Koreans employed at the management office.
The official added that the number of employees is likely to be increased with the launch of more projects in coming months.
The joint Rason management committee was set up last October to handle the construction, planning and development of the Rason economic zone which is one of the biggest projects between the two allies.
United States and other countries including China warned the Pyongyang government February that more sanctions would be imposed if they go ahead with the third nuclear test. North Korea heedlessly carried on with the test in February.
Speaking to Media, China's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, "China has normal relations with North Korea. We will conduct normal trade and economic exchanges with North Korea,"
"At the same time, China opposes North Korea's nuclear test and its position on promoting denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is firm," she added.
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