North Korean leader Kim Jong-il insisted Tuesday that his regime’s friendship with China remains strong and steady despite a leadership transition and external pressure.
Meeting with a high-level Chinese delegation in Pyongyang to mark the 50th anniversary of a friendship and cooperation treaty, the North’s leader said the two sides “powerfully demonstrated before the world the tremendous vitality of the DPRK-China friendship, which remains unchanged no matter how much water flows under the bridge and no matter how frequently a generation is replaced by another,” according to a late-night dispatch by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The DPRK is short for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Kim’s third son, Jong-un, believed to be in line to take over power, also attended the meeting, it added.
“It (the treaty) was a great event in the history of the bilateral relations,” Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang, head of the delegation, told Kim, the KCNA reported.
Zhang was quoted as adding that Beijing will “steadfastly carry forward the baton of the traditional and special Sino-DPRK friendship and honestly implement the wide-ranging agreements reached between the top leaders of the two countries.”
In a separate report, China’s Xinhua news agency said that Zhang pointed out that Kim’s three recent trips to China helped “infuse strong power” into their bilateral relations.
Beijing is ready to work with Pyongyang to constantly deepen their communications and cooperation in various fields and further boost the friendship, he added.