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N. K. gets less congratulatory messages than ever for founding anniv. from foreign leaders

All Headlines 10:49 October 07, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- The number of foreign leaders who sent congratulatory messages for this year's anniversary of North Korea's founding fell sharply from previous years amid the international community's tougher sanctions on the North for its latest and fifth nuclear test, a U.S. broadcaster reported Friday.

An analysis of articles carried by the North's state media in the late August-Oct. 5 period showed the number of countries that had delivered congratulatory messages for the anniversary, which fell on Sept. 9, before or after the day amounted to 40, down 16 and 15, respectively, from the same period of 2014 and 2015, the Voice of America (VOA) said.

Even China, North Korea's sole major ally and economic lifeline, stopped short of sending a congratulatory message for the event, according to the broadcaster.

From 2013 to last year, congratulatory messages in the names of Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping reached the North.

The less receipt of congratulatory messages by the North is interpreted as a development arising from the international community's increasing pressure and sanctions on the communist country which conducted the fifth nuclear test on the anniversary.

The VOA said at least 12 countries have made a change in their ties with the North since it conducted the fourth nuclear test early this year.

But 33 countries including the North's traditional allies -- Russia, Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nepal, Myanmar and Laos -- had sent congratulatory messages for the event to Pyongyang for the last three years, it added.

A short-range ballistic missile is launched during a military drill in this photo released by the North's daily Rodong Sinmun on March 11, 2016. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

namsh@yna.co.kr
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