UPDATE : 2019.10.13 SUN 11:28
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Kim vows to 'always stand by' China in message to Xi

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to "always stand by" China in a message sent to President Xi Jinping on the occasion of China's founding anniversary, Pyongyang's state media said Tuesday.

"Our party, government and people fully support the Chinese party, government and people in their struggle to defend the stability and the core interests of the country and achieve sustained development, and will always stand by them on the path of defending and glorifying socialism," Kim was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un chat at the Kumsusan State Guesthouse in Pyongyang on June 21, 2019, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Kim "expressed the firm conviction that the relations of friendship and cooperation between the DPRK and China would develop with added vitality day by day in line with the needs of the new era and the common desire of the peoples of the two countries," the KCNA said.

DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The message was sent to congratulate Xi on the 70th anniversary of China's foundation Tuesday.

North Korea and China have boasted of their friendly and cooperative ties following years of relatively chilled relations amid frictions over Pyongyang's missile and nuclear tests.

Kim traveled to China four times since March last year, and Xi visited Pyongyang in June for the first time as a Chinese head of state in 14 years. They agreed to deepen their ties and promised to cooperate on regional issues, including the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

As the two countries mark the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties Sunday, speculation is growing that Kim might visit Beijing to highlight the strong ties between the allies and increase his diplomatic hand ahead of a resumption of working-level denuclearization talks with Washington likely to take place in the coming weeks. (Yonhap)

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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