China, North Korea hail “invincible” 70-year friendship
Exchanging congratulatory messages with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in the past 70 years, the “traditional friendship” between the two countries stood the “test of time and changes in the international landscape”.Updated: Oct 06, 2019 16:32 IST
China and North Korea on Sunday reaffirmed ties and exchanged greetings on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties, a day after the latest round of talks between Pyongyang and Washington on nuclear disarmament reportedly broke down in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.
Exchanging congratulatory messages with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in the past 70 years, the “traditional friendship” between the two countries stood the “test of time and changes in the international landscape”.
In his message to Xi, Kim was quoted to have said that their countries’ “invincible friendship will be immortal on the road of accomplishing the cause of socialism,” according to Pyongyang’s state news agency KCNA on Sunday.
North Korea was among the first countries to establish ties with Beijing in 1949 after the Communist Party of China (CPC) took over the country.
China remains North Korea’s key benefactor both economically and diplomatically.
While North Korea’s reclusive leader Kim has travelled to China four times since March 2018 to meet Xi; the last one was in January this year, Xi had visited Pyongyang in June this year.
According to reports in South Korean media, Kim is preparing for another visit to China.
“The two countries, added Xi, have reaped plentiful fruits in bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields, which has not only greatly promoted the prosperity and progress of their respective socialist causes, but also played a significant and positive role in maintaining regional peace and stability,” Xi said in his message.
The official news agency, Xinhua, quoting Kim’s message, said the North Korean leader hailed “…the establishment of DPRK(Democratic People’s Republic of Korea-China diplomatic ties as an epochal event (and)…that over the past 70 years, the two parties and two peoples have joined hands in weal and woe and weathered all tempests in the course of defending and promoting the cause of socialism, and have written a history of a great friendship.
Meanwhile, the latest working-level talks held Saturday in Stockholm between North Korea and the US broke down with no agreement.
“The negotiations did not live up to our expectations and were canceled. I am very disappointed,” DPRK’s chief negotiator Kim Myong Gil told the South Korean news agency Yonhap after the talks.
The first DPRK-U.S. talks in more than seven months were held in Lidingo, a suburb of Sweden’s capital Stockholm, and lasted eight and a half hours.
“It is now up to the U.S. to resume the dialogue,” Kim was quoted by the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter as saying.
The US has said the two sides had good discussions.