Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to bring the relationship between the two countries to a new stage. They exchanged messages while marking the 60th anniversary of their defense treaty, reported to the state media of Pyongyang on July 11. China is the economic benefactor and long-time ally of North Korea. Their relations forged in the Korean War bloodshed when Mao Zedong sent numerous volunteers to fight United Nations forces backed by the US to a standstill.
In a message to Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un wrote that despite the complicated international situation, the trust and militant friendship between China and DPRK get much stronger day by day. The KCNA news agency showed the message where Kim highlighted the significance of the pact in ensuring stability and peace in Asia and across the world. Xi Jinping wrote that he has planned to bring more happiness to both the nations and their people by leading the relations of cooperation and friendship, KCNA said.
History of The Pact
The two nations had signed a treaty of friendship on July 11, 1961, in the event of an armed attack. Under this treaty, China and North Korea are committed to offering each other the necessary military and other help during an attack. The ties between North Korea and China were from the 1930s when the grandfather of Kim Jong Un, Kim II Sung, led Korean guerrillas fought alongside China against the Japanese colonizers present in north-eastern China.
Both the countries made their diplomatic relations in 1949, just one year before the attack of North Korea on South Korea. During the time of the Korean war between 1950 and 1953, China supported North Korea while US-led UN forces fought alongside South Korea.
Over the years, the relations have fluctuated between China and North Korea due to the growing nuclear ambitions of Pyongyang. However, as the negotiations between the US and North Korea are at a standstill, both countries are progressing to strengthen their ties.
Marriage of Convenience
The statements are a contrast to some years ago when the relationship between the countries was poor. Kim Jong Un took so many years to meet the Chinese President after succeeding his father in 2011. In March 2018, the North Korean leader Kim went for his first visit to China, and after that, the two leaders have met nearly five times to date. The messages exchange is the recent sign of the ties between the nations, which experts say is targeted at the US amid nuclear talks. This is worsening the tensions between the US and Beijing.
The Professor of North Korean Studies, Park Won-gon, said that it is nothing more than a marriage of convenience. The relations between the two allies had many discords since the Korean war ended, and both the leaders never really have trust in each other. Park added that yet both the allies need each other to tackle Washington. The more they will get closer, the difficult it will be to completely denuclearise North Korea.