North Korea ISOLATED: How relationship with biggest ally China is fizzling out

Friday, October 27, 2017
By Paul Martin

NORTH Korea is becoming increasingly isolated as its relationship with only ally China cracks amid rising tensions over the North’s repeated nuclear missile tests.

Fri, Oct 27, 2017

Kim Jong-un sent a rare congratulatory message to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday at the end of China’s Communist Party Congress, wishing him “great success” as head of the nation.

But the friendly gesture by the North Korean leader, who seldom issues personal messages, comes as China is being pressured by the international community to do more to rein in the North’s missile and nuclear tests that have raised tensions globally.

Xi became China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong at the all-important week-long congress.

The North’s state-run central news agency said Kim’s message expressed the conviction that the relations between the two parties and the two countries would develop in the interests of the peoples of the two countries.

“The Chinese people have entered the road of building socialism with the Chinese characteristics in the new era.”

And Kim Jong-un was not the only leader to send his congratulations. US President Donald Trump seized the opportunity to call Xi in an effort to cosy up to North Korea’s ally.

When Xi was first appointed five years ago, Pyongyang sent a six-sentence-long congratulatory message that included phrases such as “strength of the mutual leadership, friendship and brotherhood.”

This time, the note was only four sentences.

North Korea and China often exchange routine diplomatic correspondence and ceremonial letters to each other on political anniversaries or political promotions, although personal messages to and from the leaders tend to be few.

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