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[BEIJING] China said on Friday it hopes to boost trade with North Korea, its reclusive ally, state media reported, despite tensions between the two neighbours.
Li Jinjun, China's ambassador to North Korea, said he hopes to push trade and economic cooperation with the isolated state to a "new level", the official Xinhua news agency reported. Mr Li met with a North Korean trade official this week.
China's ties with North Korea have been strained over Pyongyang's banned nuclear programme. North Korea is under United Nations sanctions because of its nuclear tests and missile launches.
Beijing is Pyongyang's last major ally, but relations have soured in recent years, while Beijing has grown closer to Seoul.
Mr Li took over as China's ambassador to North Korea in March.