April 06, 2018 09:16
North Korea's relations with China seem to be improving rapidly since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sudden visit to Beijing at the end of March.
North Korean state media have resumed reports on Chinese President Xi Jinping's activities that they had stopped while ties soured over China joining international sanctions. They also belatedly published Xi's reply to Kim's message congratulating him on his re-election as president.
The reply was sent in on March 23 but only quoted on Thursday by the regime's official Korean Central News Agency as saying, "The traditional friendship between China and [North] Korea is a valuable joint asset."
Back on Sunday, Central Television aired "A Promise in Pyongyang," a North Korea-China joint-venture film that depicts the friendship between North Korean and Chinese dancers. Two days later it broadcast a documentary about regime founder Kim Il-sung's meetings with Chinese leaders like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
"It's been a very long time since official North Korean media reported on Xi's activities and aired films on the North Korea-China friendship," a Unification Ministry official said. "It seems that they are trying to publicize that bilateral relations have gone back to normal."
The regime has also reportedly eased controls on Chinese films and music.
Meanwhile, a crackdown on South Korean music and TV continues despite the concerts by South Korean musicians in Pyongyang earlier this week. "Security forces and police were mobilized to prevent the spread of capitalist culture ahead of the concerts," a source said.
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