China, North Korea Strengthen Military Collaboration Amid US Tensions

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BEIJING – A Chinese commander said China and North Korea will develop military collaboration and continue to work together to ensure security in the Asia-Pacific region amid US actions in the region deemed threatening.

Pyongyang officials met with an official Chinese delegation in Beijing shortly after North Korea’s missile tests. At this meeting, Korean representatives were led by Kim Su-gil, director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Office.

According to media reports after the meeting, the Chinese general assured Kim Su-gil to hope that relations between China and North Korea will strengthen in the future.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is ready to work with North Korea to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of our nations,” said Gen. Zhang Youxia, vice president of China’s Central Military Commission.

In addition, he assured that Beijing “is ready to contribute to the peace and stability of the region along with Pyongyang.” In response, the North Korean official said his country aspires to expand military ties and exchange experiences with its neighbor.

Start of greater collaboration?

In June this year, Xi Jinping was the first Chinese leader to visit North Korea in the last 14 years. Talks between him and Kim Jong-un have given new impetus to relations between historic allies, which have been complicated in recent years by Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons tests.

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In addition to US activity in the region, which concerns both countries, China and North Korea are linked by the 1961 treaty, which obliges countries to support each other in the event of attacks from abroad. Beijing and Pyongyang have common geopolitical opponents such as Japan and South Korea.

Washington-Seoul Cooperation

Pyongyang on Friday reminded the US and South Korea that the country will not tolerate their joint military exercises, which continue despite President Trump’s positive intentions in the talks on the denuclearization of Korea.

The country has declared that no talks can proceed unless the exercises stop. In addition, Pyongyang called South Korean leader Moon Jae-in a “reckless man” who “mentions ‘conversations’ between North and South while conducting war scenarios that can destroy most of our armies in 90 days.”

US Intervention in China Affairs

Beijing also criticizes the sending of US ships and planes to the South China Sea, an area where Beijing has territorial pretensions, considering the deployment of US arms a violation of Chinese sovereignty.

Controversial issues also include the problem of US arms sales to the island of Taiwan, as well as Washington’s military support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

At Beijing’s accusations of Mike Pompeo’s attempt to “redesign the Pacific in its authoritarian image,” China responded that the US leader’s attempts to “tarnish” the government and “sow discord” in the region are bound to fail.

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