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Xi sends response message to N.K. leader, vows to further bolster relations

All News 16:38 May 10, 2020

SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, vowing to "propel the steady advance and development" of relations between the two countries, Pyongyang's state media reported Sunday.

Xi's "verbal message" came in response to a message that Kim sent last week to congratulate and praise China for successfully stemming the spread of the new coronavirus, according to the North's Korean Central News Agency.

KCNA quoted Xi as saying that Kim's message showed the "deep feelings" the North has toward China and "displayed the solid foundation of the traditional China-DPRK friendship and its tremendous vitality," according to KCNA.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"Xi Jinping said that he has intent to propel the steady advance and development of China-DPRK relations in the new era and to actively contribute to the regional peace, development and prosperity by thoroughly carrying out important agreements, strengthening strategic communications and intensifying exchange and cooperation between the two parties and the two countries," KCNA said.

KCNA did not give further details.

But China's state-run CCTV reported earlier that Xi vowed to "do everything in China's power" to help North Korea with efforts related to the virus, saying he considers relations between the two countries very important.

Xi also expressed hopes to strengthen strategic communication and exchanges and to lead improvements in bilateral relations in the new era, according to CCTV.

North Korea claims to be free of coronavirus infections, but it has taken precautionary measures, such as shutting down its border with China and toughening quarantine on inbound shipments.

North Korea has frequently praised China for its anti-virus efforts since COVID-19 first broke out in China last December, apparently highlighting their friendly relations.


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