Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd from L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (2nd from R) have a luncheon with their respective wives -- Peng Liyuan (L) and Ri Sol-ju -- at the Kumsusan State Guesthouse in Pyongyang on June 21, 2019, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. (KCNA)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to elevate relations with China to a new strategic point as he sent a congratulatory message to Chinese President Xi Jinping to mark the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China, state media said Thursday.
In an apparent reference to the deepening Sino-US rivalry, Kim also said in the message that "hostile forces" are engaged in "vicious slander and all-round pressure" upon China, but they can "never check the on-going advance of the Chinese people," according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
"Despite the complicated international situation, the two parties and the two countries, with firm faith in the justice of the socialist and communist cause, accelerate their advance toward a brighter future, tiding over difficulties and ordeals by dint of their militant friendship and bonds of kinship," Kim was quoted as saying by the KCNA.
"The WPK, by its firm unity with the CPC, would raise the DPRK-China friendship to a new strategic point as required by the times and as desired by the peoples of the two countries, and powerfully encourage the socialist construction... to vigorously advance despite any change of the situation and challenges," he added.
DPRK is the acronym of the North's official name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"The WPK and the Korean people firmly support the cause of the CPC for accelerating socialist construction, protecting the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity and preserving global peace," Kim said.
Kim sent a floral basket bearing his name to Xi through his ambassador in Beijing on the occasion of the 100th founding anniversary, according to the KCNA.
North Korea and China have highlighted their close and friendly relations amid stalemated nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington, and an escalating Sino-US rivalry.
Last month, China's ambassador in Pyongyang and North Korea's top diplomat in Beijing stressed the importance of bilateral relations in rare op-ed pieces published in state media of the host country on the second anniversary of Xi's trip to Pyongyang. (Yonhap)