Xi, Kim vow to strengthen North Korea and China’s friendship, cooperation

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to continue a relationship of cooperation and aid, statements from the leaders that came amid the 60th anniversary of the countries’ treaty of friendship. 

In a message sent to Xi this weekend, Kim said that their relationship was vital, especially in the face of what he called “hostile forces” around the world, according to Reuters

“Despite the unprecedentedly complicated international situation in recent years the comradely trust and militant friendship between the DPRK and China get stronger day by day,” Kim wrote, according to North Korea KCNA news agency. 

Xi reportedly said that he plans to strengthen their communication “by steadily leading the relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries to a new stage,” according to Reuters. 

The 1961 treaty, officially known as the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty, has for decades promised peaceful cooperation between the two nations, including in areas like defense and technology. 

China remains the only major ally and the biggest trading partner to North Korea, with efforts by the U.S. Other countries have tried to engage with the hermit nation, but efforts have proved largely unsuccessful due to the country’s commitment to its nuclear weapons development program. 

In his message this weekend, Kim said the continuation of the 1961 treaty is working to defend socialism in Asia “now that the hostile forces become more desperate in their challenge and obstructive moves.” 

President Biden in May said that the U.S., along with the allied government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, share a “willingness to engage diplomatically with the D.P.R.K. to take pragmatic steps that will reduce tensions as we move toward our ultimate goal of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” 

Biden at the time appointed career diplomat Sung Kim to serve as a special envoy to North Korea. 

However, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon said late last month that the country was “not considering even the possibility of any contact with the U.S., let alone having it,” adding that such talks “would get us nowhere, only taking up precious time.” 

The remarks came after Kim Jong Yo, the sister of Kim Jong Un, said that a meeting with the U.S. “would plunge them into a greater disappointment.”

Tags China China-North Korea relations cooperation Joe Biden Kim Jong Un North Korea Nuclear program of North Korea Reuters South Korea

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