Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have pledged to strengthen their friendly relations during the 60th anniversary of a historic bilateral defense treaty.
The close ties between the nations have been “gain momentum” in recent years have “extensively developed to a higher level in all areas, including politics, economics, military and culture”, Kim said, according to the North Korean state news agency KCNA.
The bilateral treaty has played a vital role in ensuring peace and stability in Asia against: “enemy forces” in the region, the North Korean leader said, pointing out that the two neighbors have a “steadfast stand…to develop the friendly and cooperative relations unceasingly” with each other.
Similarly, Xi attributed the 1961 treaty to fostering regional and global peace. He added that Beijing and Pyongyang have “Supporting each other firmly and working hand in hand” to strengthen ties over the years.
According to China’s Foreign Ministry, Xi said he is ready to work with Kim to “to take bilateral friendly cooperation to a new level and bring more benefits to the two countries and two peoples.”
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Under the 1961 agreement, China and North Korea must automatically defend each other when one of them is attacked.
China is North Korea’s largest trading partner and main ally on the global stage and has previously called for the easing of international sanctions against Pyongyang. Xi and Kim met in person several times in 2018 and 2019.
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