( Reuter )- North Korea on Thursday supported China's efforts to crush an uprising in Tibet, denouncing the unrest as a move by separatist "unsavory elements" to seek independence.
" Tibet is part of an inalienable territory of China," the North's official KCNA news agency quoted an unnamed foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
"The DPRK government strongly denounces the unsavory elements for their moves to seek 'independence of Tibet' and scuttle the upcoming Beijing Olympics," the spokesman said.
DPRK is short for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
China is the closest the reclusive North has to an ally and is the impoverished state's key trading partner.
China says the unrest was instigated by the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to sabotage August's Olympic Games, a claim he has rejected. He has also called for an end to the violence in Tibet's capital Lhasa and elsewhere.