60th anniversary of China-North Korea friendship treaty, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un’s congratulatory message different tone?

On Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un exchanged congratulatory messages on the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which was covered by the official media of both countries, but with an apparently different focus in Pyongyang and Beijing.

In his congratulatory message, Kim Jong Un said that “even though the international situation has been unprecedentedly complicated in recent years, the comradeship and combat friendship between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and China have grown deeper and deeper,” AFP reported Sunday, citing the Korean Central News Agency.

Kim Jong-un also said that the friendship treaty between the two countries defends socialism and peace in Asia at a time when the challenges and obstruction activities of hostile forces are intensifying. The implication is that the two countries should intensify cooperation on their strategies toward the United States.

On the same event, Xinhua reported that Xi’s congratulatory message stressed the need to lead China-DPRK cooperative relations “to a new level,” but with a greater focus on economic construction.

Xi said, “At present, the people of the DPRK are united in their efforts to implement the decision of the 8th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea. China firmly supports the DPRK in developing the economy and people’s livelihood and vigorously promoting the cause of socialist construction. I believe that under the leadership of Comrade General Secretary, the DPRK Party and people will be able to make new and greater achievements.”