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Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping pledge to further develop bilateral ties Updated: 2021-03-23 14:40:20 KST

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping have vowed to further develop their bilateral ties.
On Tuesday, the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported in detail on the exchange of verbal messages between Kim and Xi.
It said Kim relayed the message in order to notify China of the developments stemming from the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea at a time that requires both sides to intensify their strategic communication.
He highlighted the policies taken to boost the regime's defense capabilities, inter-Korean relations and North Korea-U.S. relations.
Kim added North Korea and China should shore up their unity and cooperation to deal with all-round challenges and interruptive moves made by what he called "hostile forces".
The North Korean leader also mentioned how happy he is to see China making noticeable accomplishments to establish a fundamentally rich society, while steadily protecting socialism despite criticism and pressure from what he described as "enemy forces."
Watchers say this shows Kim supports China at a time when Beijing is coming under intense pressure from the West due to issues like Hong Kong and its treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang Province.
Adding to that, Kim expressed his belief that ties between Beijing and Pyeongyang will further develop as required by the times, conforming to their core and shared interests.
According to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency, President Xi responded by saying China will uphold a political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue, noting that Beijing wants to see the solid development of relations with the North.
The messages were exchanged during a meeting in Beijing between a senior Chinese diplomat and North Korea's new ambassador to China.
A lot of attention is on the messages as both Pyeongyang and Beijing's relations with Washington have become increasingly strained in recent years.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.
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