TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) and Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to strengthen ties with North Korea in messages sent to leader Kim Jong-un on Thursday (Sept. 9) commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the communist country's founding.
"I and Comrade General Secretary have maintained close communication and led bilateral relations for them to develop in a stable way," Xi was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), per The Korea Times.
"I highly value the development of the China-DPRK relations and intend to develop these ties of friendship and cooperation on a long-term basis and in a stable way," he continued, using the acronym of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea — North Korea’s official name.
Putin also sent a congratulatory message to Kim, expressing his desire to promote bilateral relations "based on the good traditions of friendship and mutual respect."
"Expressing belief that both countries would further develop constructive bilateral dialogue and cooperation in various aspects by their concerted efforts, the message noted it would doubtless meet the interests of the two peoples and contribute to promoting security and stability in the Korean peninsula and the whole Northeast Asian region," KCNA said.
The pledges of renewed ties between North Korea and the authoritarian powers comes amid an ongoing stalemate in denuclearization talks with the U.S. and South Korea.
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi (王毅) visited Seoul this week and will reportedly speak with his South Korean counterparts on how to address the nuclear issue. "The two ministers plan to exchange in-depth opinions about the situation on the Korean peninsula and regional and global issues," South Korea's foreign ministry said.