The letter suggests that relations between the two countries may soon normalize, as Xi Jinping expresses a desire to share “common prosperity.”
In the wake of recent diplomatic shake ups, Chinese President Xi Jinping responded to a congratulatory letter sent to him by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which is the first public communication between the two leaders in a year.
Relations between the countries has been strained due to North Korea’s expanding nuclear program, which has put China into a precarious situation with pressure from the United States, China’s main trading partner.
Prior to these disagreements, China had been Pyongyang’s traditional economic lifeline.
Ties between the two nations go back decades when the Chinese, then under the leadership of Chairman Mao Zedong, helped North Korea gain independence and fight back U.S-led forces that devastated the small country.
Western critics have long chastised China for failing to hold North Korea “accountable” by not adhering to U.N. sanctions against North Korea in regards to its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs.
China has expressed a willingness to support a new round of sanctions against North Korea due to increasing tensions in the region stemming, in part, from Pyongyang’s nuclear ambition.
North Korea has maintained its right to self-defense, citing continual U.S. aggression and threats of ‘pre-emptive invasion.’
However, President Xi’s letter to Kim Jong-un suggests a thawing of diplomatic relations.
“I, on behalf of the C.C., the CPC and on my own behalf, express sincere thanks to the C.C., the WPK and Comrade Chairman for respectively sending congratulatory messages as regards the facts that the 19th National Congress of the CPC was held and I was elected general secretary of the C.C., the CPC and took office as chairman of the Central Military Commission again some days ago,” the letter says.
“I wish that under the new situation the Chinese side would make efforts with the DPRK side to promote the relations between the two parities and the two countries to sustainable soundness and stable development and thus make a positive contribution to providing the peoples of the two countries with more wonderful happiness and defending regional peace and stability and common prosperity.”
“I wish the Korean people steadily fresh successes in the cause of socialist construction under the leadership of the WPK headed by Chairman Kim Jong Un.”
The letter, which analysts have called ‘baby steps’ to renewed relations, comes before U.S. President Donald Trump’s first visit to Asia as a sitting president.
Trump will visit key regional allies such as Japan and South Korea along his tour.
It has been speculated that Trump will discuss the ‘threat’ of North Korea with allies and attempt to devise a plan moving forward.
The U.S. Navy has deployed several aircraft carriers and warships to the Korean Peninsula in the buildup to this visit as part of a joint U.S.-South Korean war game that takes place regularly, and simulates an invasion of the North.
North Korea has recently published an open letter decrying provocations by Trump, calling on U.S.-allied nations to use their diplomatic pull to stop U.S. aggression in the region. The letter reiterated North Korea’s commitment to peace and accused the Trump administration of “trying to drive the world into a horrible nuclear disaster.”
China has repeatedly committed support for a Pyongyang-authored plan, which would see the end of North Korea’s nuclear program in exchange for the end of U.S. hostility. The U.S. has repeatedly declined this deal./ TelesurTV.net