January 02, 2015 09:45
North Korean state TV on Thursday gave a further indication of the renegade state's dire relations with its sole ally China by mentioning Russian President Vladimir Putin before Chinese President Xi Jinping.
[North] Korean Central TV announced the list of world leaders who sent New Year's greeting cards to Kim Jong-un in order of their importance. In previous years China had always been mentioned first, but this year Russia headed the list.
Relations between Beijing and Pyongyang soured following North Korea's third nuclear test in 2013 and the brutal execution of former eminence grise Jang Song-taek, and China has apparently since then withheld vital oil shipments from the North.
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