North Korea message to China’s Communist Party faint praise

Vastavam web: North Korea issued an unusually short congratulatory message to China’s Communist Party today as President Xi Jinping opened its five-year congress amid strained ties between the two traditional allies.China is North Korea’s longtime ally and economic benefactor, saving the country from defeat during the 1950-53 Korean War.In a three-paragraph message carried by the official KCNA news agency, the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) “warmly congratulated the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China and sent warm greetings to all the party members and other Chinese people”.

“The Chinese people have made great progress in accomplishing the cause of building socialism… and we are greatly pleased over this,” it added.It referred to “the fraternal Chinese people” and, using the acronym for the North’s official name, said the Workers Party would “protect the traditional DPRK-China friendship provided and cultivated by the elder generation of the two parties and countries and invariably develop it generation after generation”.

China’s foreign ministry expressed thanks for the many congratulatory messages about the party congress it said had been received from foreign political parties and organisations, including North Korea.The relationship between Beijing and Pyongyang was forged in the blood of the Korean War, when Mao Zedong sent millions of “volunteers” to fight US-led United Nations forces to a standstill.Mao described the allies as close as “lips and teeth”, and China has long been accused of failing to enforce sanctions even after voting for them at the UN.After a flurry of missile launches by the North and its sixth nuclear test last month, China backed new UN sanctions that included bans on imports of coal, iron ore and seafood from the North, as well as limits on exports of oil products to it.But analysts say there still appears to be scope for the fractured relationship to improve.