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N. Korean leader highlights strong ties with China against 'hostile forces'

North Korea 10:55 September 25, 2021

SEOUL, Sept. 25 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said his country's strong relations with China will further grow against "vicious challenges and obstruction by the hostile forces" in a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pyongyang's state media reported Saturday.

Kim made the remark in a reply to Xi's earlier letter that offered congratulations on the North's 73rd founding anniversary, where the Chinese leader said he intends to "develop these ties of friendship and cooperation on a long-term basis and in a stable way," according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"I am very pleased to see the comradely unity and cooperation between the DPRK and China steadily growing strong ... while smashing the vicious challenges and obstruction by the hostile forces," Kim said in the letter Wednesday, adding their relations will "further develop day by day."

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

North Korea has strengthened relations with other socialist countries, including China and Russia, amid a prolonged stalemate in denuclearization talks with the United States.

On Friday, Kim's sister, Kim Yo-jong, said South Korean President Moon Jae-in's recent proposal to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War is an "admirable idea" and that Pyongyang is willing to discuss improving inter-Korean ties if Seoul removes what she called "inveterate hostile policy" toward the North.

In this file photo, taken June 21, 2019, and released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un take a walk at the Kumsusan State Guesthouse in Pyongyang. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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