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(LEAD) N.K. leader sends verbal message to Xi Jinping on China's success on COVID-19

All News 06:50 May 08, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details throughout)

SEOUL, May 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has sent a "verbal message" to Chinese President Xi Jinping, lauding Beijing's success in stemming the spread of the new coronavirus, state media reported Friday.

In the message, Kim "congratulated him, highly appreciating that he is seizing a chance of victory in the war against the unprecedented epidemic," according to the Korean Central News Agency.

"Kim Jong Un wished Xi Jinping good health, expressing conviction that the Chinese party and people would cement the successes made so far and steadily expand them and thus win a final victory under the wise guidance of Xi Jinping," it added.

It did not specify when and how the message has been delivered to the Chinese leader.

This marked the second time that he has sent a message to Xi with regard to the coronavirus this year. In late January, Kim conveyed his support and unspecified aid for Beijing's fight against the virus that had been fast spreading in the neighboring country.

North Korea has frequently praised China for its successful antivirus efforts since the COVID-19 broke out first in its central city of Wuhan last December, apparently highlighting their friendly relations.

North Korea and China have been boasting of their strong relations following Xi's trip for a summit with Kim last June. It was the first visit by a Chinese head of state to North Korea in 14 years.


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