Dictator Kim Jong Un and President Xi Jinping are spending 2024 celebrating their countries’ friendship.
The supreme leader of North Korea and highest-ranking official of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) swapped declarations of “DPRK-China friendship” as the world welcomed in the new year this week.
“Through the ‘year of DPRK-China friendship,’ the two parties and two countries will further promote exchange and visits in all fields, including politics, economy and culture, further deepen the ties of friendship and unity, and intensify the cooperation in the joint struggle to safeguard regional and global peace and stability, thus adding a new page to the history of the DPRK-China relations,” a report from state media outlet Korean Central News Agency reads.
“DPRK” is an abbreviation of “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the official name of the North Korean state.
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Xi responded with a similar declaration of friendship for the Kim regime, celebrating “China-DPRK friendly and cooperative relations.”
“In recent years, the traditional China-DPRK friendly and cooperative relations have entered a new historic period, thanks to the joint efforts and encouragement of both sides,” Xi said in his statement.
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The CCP general secretary continued, “It is our steadfast policy to successfully defend, consolidate and develop the traditional China-DPRK friendly and cooperative relations.”
North Korea is a strategic regional ally for China as the CCP aims to consolidate diplomatic power and push back against perceived intrusion by Western nations.
Speaking Friday at a gathering of Chinese diplomats and ambassadors in Beijing, Xi took a militant tone as he urged the ministers to keep China’s development foremost in their mind and safeguard national interests against encroaching Western powers.
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“It is necessary to […] resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, with an attitude of readiness to fight and a firm will to defy strong powers,” Xi said, according to state-owned news outlet Xinhua.
Xi lamented what he called “escalating oppression and containment of China by external forces” in his speech, urging Chinese diplomats to “put discipline and rules first” to “build a diplomatic iron army loyal to the party, brave in taking responsibilities, daring to fight and being good at fighting.”
Kim Jong Un, meanwhile, has made repeated threats of nuclear attack against the US if provoked, saying in a Sunday meeting that “the treasured sword” of North Korea must be “sharpened.”
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