September 10, 2015 09:55
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday to mark the 67th anniversary of its founding.
"We will join [North Korea] to promote a protracted, sound and stable development of… relations, steadily consolidate the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries and thus make a positive contribution to peace, stability and development in the region," Xi was quoted as saying by the official [North] Korean Central News Agency.
China sends similar messages every year, but this year's greetings come as ties between the allies are at a low ebb.
KCNA duly pushed Xi's message to the next page while featuring congratulations from Russian President Vladimir Putin and Cuban leader Raul Castro on the front page.
"Not placing the message on the front page was a form of indirect protest," said Prof. Kim Yong-hyun at Dongguk University.
At last week's 70th anniversary celebrations of the end of World War II, North Korean representative Choe Ryong-hae was placed a long way from Xi on the podium while South Korean President Park Geun-hye got pride of place.
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