Why Can’t We Be Friends? China’s Leader Reaches Out To Kim Jong Un

Ryan Pickrell | China/Asia Pacific Reporter

Tense and icy relations between China and North Korea may finally be thawing as the leaders of the two countries are apparently exchanging written correspondence.

After the recent 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un congratulated Chinese President Xi Jinping for achieving “great success.” Xi reportedly sent a response to Kim that expressed a desire for better dies.

“I wish that under the new situation the Chinese side would make efforts with the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] side to promote the relations between the two parities and the two countries to sustainable soundness and stable development and thus make a positive contribution to providing the peoples of the two countries with more wonderful happiness and defending regional peace and stability and common prosperity,” Xi reportedly wrote in the letter, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

“I wish the Korean people steadily fresh successes in the cause of socialist construction under the leadership of the [Worker’s Party of Korea] headed by Chairman Kim Jong Un,” the message read.

The exchange comes as the Trump administration is pushing China to increase pressure on North Korea while diplomatically isolating the rogue regime.

China has hit North Korea hard this year, cutting coal imports, reducing key exports, severing financial ties, expelling workers, and shutting down businesses. China has also repeatedly expressed concerns about its nuclear neighbors aggressive provocations.

There are reports of contempt between Xi and Kim, and diplomatic ties have deteriorated. Chinese and North Korean media outlets have also expressed criticisms of the other.

Such correspondence between China and North Korea is not uncommon, but it is a little surprising given increases in tensions over the past year. South Korea’s Ministry of Unification suggested Thursday that China might soon dispatch a high-level diplomat to North Korea, although Pyongyang has been decidedly unwilling to meet China’s diplomatic representative to North Korea.

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Tags : china kim jong un north korea xi jinping
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