January 04, 2016 11:43
The North Korean media pointedly mentioned official New Year's greetings from Russia to leader Kim Jong-un ahead of those from China, suggesting Pyongyang is still peeved at Beijing over criticism of its arms programs.
Over the whole of last year, the official Rodong Sinmun mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin 150 times, compared to a mere six mentions for Chinese President Xi Jinping.
A search for "China" on the daily's website over the same period shows a total of 164 articles, compared to 367 for Russia.
A researcher with a think tank here said relations between North Korea and China appear to be limping along, despite the appearance of a thaw last year. A recent blow was the abrupt cancellation of a concert in Beijing by North Korean girl band Moranbong, apparently over excessively martial footage that was to be used as a back projection.
Small slights weigh heavily on pathologically insecure North Korea. In the past, the Chinese New Year's message was always mentioned first, followed by good wishes from fellow Stalinist dinosaur Cuba.
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