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Xi voices willingness to maintain 'close communication' with N.Korean leader

Chinese President Xi Jinping has voiced his readiness to maintain "close communication" with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and promote the two nations' ties in a message, the North's state media said Saturday.

In his reply to a congratulatory message sent by Kim over the 70th founding anniversary of China, Xi "firmly" supported Kim's pursuit of a new strategic line of developing the economy and improving people's livelihoods, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.


"I am ready to keep close communication with you and achieve new and greater development of the China-DPRK relations with joint efforts," Xi said in a message carried by the KCNA.

DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The reply dated Oct. 30 came a month after Kim sent a message celebrating China's 70th anniversary of its founding.

Following years of chilly relations over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, Beijing and Pyongyang recently have boasted of their friendly ties as they marked the 70th anniversary of establishing their diplomatic relations.

Kim has traveled to China four times since March last year, and Xi visited Pyongyang in June, becoming the first Chinese head of state to do so in 14 years.

They agreed to deepen their ties and promised to cooperate on regional issues, including the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. (Yonhap)