Kim says China-North Korea ties are vital in the face of hostile foreign forces, while Xi promises to bring cooperation “to a new stage.”
Leaders of North Korea and China have exchanged messages promising to strengthen cooperation on the 60th anniversary of the signing of its Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance.
In a message to China’s Xi Jinping on Sunday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said their relationship was vital in the face of hostile foreign forces, while Xi promised to bring cooperation “to a new stage,” according to the KCNA news agency of North Korea.
China has been North Korea’s only major ally since the two sides signed the treaty in 1961.
Meanwhile, international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs have made it more dependent than ever on Beijing for trade and other support.
“Despite the unprecedented complicated international situation of recent years, trust and militant friendship between the DPRK and China are becoming stronger day by day,” Kim said in his message, KCNA, using the initials for the official name of North Korea.
The treaty defends socialism and peace in Asia “now that hostile forces are becoming more desperate in their challenge and their obstructive moves,” Kim said.
Xi’s message said he plans to provide greater happiness to the two countries and their people by strengthening communication with Kim and “continuously leading the relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries to one another. new stage, ”KCNA said.
The China-North Korea treaty has a validity period of 20 years and was renewed in 1981 and 2001.
NK News, a website that monitors North Korea, said Sunday that it expected Xi and Kim to extend the treaty for another 20 years.