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China sends congratulatory messages to N. Korea for only 3 out of 14 annivs in 2015-16

All Headlines 16:37 October 13, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- China, North Korea's sole major ally and economic lifeline, sent congratulatory messages to North Korea for only three out of the North's 14 anniversaries in the 2015-October 5 period, a U.S. broadcaster reported Thursday.

Two of the three messages from Beijing to Pyongyang came in July, shortly after North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was selected as the chairman of the newly created state apparatus called the State Affairs Commission, and in October 2015 when the North marked the 70th anniversary of the foundation of its ruling party.

China skipped sending a congratulatory message to the North around this year's anniversary of its founding on Sept. 9, for which 40 countries delivered congratulatory messages to the communist country, the Voice of America (VOA) said, citing an analysis of congratulatory message-related articles carried by its state media.

During the mentioned period, Syria sent congratulatory messages to the North the most. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad congratulated Kim on the occasion of all but three anniversaries: 2016 anniversary of the Fatherland Liberation War, or the 1950-53 Korean War; the 2016 New Year's Day; and the 2015 birth anniversary of founding president Kim Il-sung.

North Korea and Syria have maintained a relationship of allies amid reports of North Korea's suspected assistance to Syria's construction of a nuclear reactor and North Korean soldiers' participation in the Syrian civil war.

Syria was trailed by Uganda, which sent congratulatory messages for nine of the 14 anniversaries. Palestine and Laos came next with seven each, Myanmar and Cuba with six each, and Russia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Egypt with five each.

Syria received eight congratulatory messages from the North, topping the list of countries to which the North's congratulatory messages were sent, followed by Russia and Laos with five each, and Cuba and China with three each.

A national meeting takes place at the People's Palace of Culture in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on Sept. 8, 2016, to celebrate the country's 68th founding anniversary, which falls the next day, in this image provided by the North's Central TV Station. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

namsh@yna.co.kr
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