October 17, 2022
SEOUL – Chinese leader Xi Jinping underscored the significance of enhancing bilateral strategic communication and cooperation between China and North Korea in light of complex international and regional security dynamics in his recent letter to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, North Korean state media reported Sunday.
The Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, featured Xi’s letter to Kim and the Party Central Committee’s congratulatory letter to China on the front page on the opening day of the weeklong, twice-in-a-decade congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
The letter, dated Oct. 13, highlighted that the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party would be convened “at a very critical juncture” when China has set out on a new journey of “building a modern socialist country” and has sought to achieve its second centenary goal, the Rodong Sinmun said in its Korean-language report.
Xi said the traditional friendship between China and North Korea “has grown stronger over the years” in his reply to Kim’s letter expressing congratulations for China’s 73rd founding anniversary, labeling the two countries as “friendly neighboring countries connected by mountains and rivers.”
In the letter, Xi notably underlined the importance of strategically stepping up bilateral cooperation in light of intricate global and regional security dynamics.
“As serious and complex changes are currently taking place in the international and regional situation, the importance of enhancing bilateral strategic communication and strengthening unity and cooperation between China and the DPRK come to greater prominence,” Xi was quoted by the Rodong Sinmun as saying, referring to the North’s formal name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Xi said he is ready to work with Kim and “make active efforts to give an impetus to advance and develop the traditional friendly and cooperative relations between China and the DPRK under new circumstances, keeping abreast with the times. ”
The Chinese leader expressed his intent to “make a greater contribution to providing two countries and their people with greater happiness and defending peace and stability in the region and the rest of the world.”
North Korea’s Party Central Committee also sent a letter to members of the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese people on Sunday to celebrate the opening of the 20th party congress, the Rodong Sinmun said in a separate Korean-language report.
In the letter, the North Korean ruling party wished Xi success at the party congress, where Xi is widely expected to cement his power in securing a precedent-breaking third term as leader.
The Workers’ Party of Korea expressed confidence that the party congress will be a historic event that “will ensure the victorious advance of socialist China and gird the entire people up to achieve the goal of rejuvenating China by further strengthening the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party with comrade Xi Jinping as its core.”
In the letter, North Korea’s Party Central Committee also underlined that the two parties “have been defending the common interests of the people and the two countries and strongly promoting the cause of socialism while continuing to support and cooperate in an unprecedentedly complex international environment.”
North Korea has publicly and more frequently shown off its resolve to further step up bilateral cooperation with China as intricate regional and global security dynamics have been largely compounded by the intensifying US-China rivalry and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Under such context, North Korean state media outlets have recently issued public statements that show close coordination with China on global and regional issues and denounce the US Indo-Pacific engagement strategy.
North Korean state media also have sought to demonstrate top-level commitment to reinforce bilateral coordination and unity between Beijing and Pyongyang by releasing personal letters exchanged between Kim and Xi.
In the Oct. 1 letter marking the 73rd anniversary of China’s founding, Kim told Xi he would “continue to go out of his way to constantly develop the traditionally friendly relations between the DPRK and China and safeguard peace and stability in Asia and the world.”
The North Korean leader also reiterated his country’s endorsement of China’s resolution on the Taiwan issue. Kim stated that the North Korean party, government and its people will continue to “invariably support the struggle for justice of the Chinese party, government and people to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and realize its reunification.” China has threatened to use military force to bring self-governing Taiwan under its control.