Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his congratulations to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un on his unexpected election as the chairman of the DPRK ruling party on Monday.
On the closing day of North Korea’s first ruling party congress in 36 years, Kim was announced as the new chairman of the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK), a position which hadn’t actually existed until just then.
But that fact doesn’t seem to have bothered Xi, who likes a good new title as much as anyone. Last month, the Chinese President, CCP General Secretary and Central Military Commission Chairman added “Commander in Chief” to his own growing list of official titles; while at the same time doing away with nicknames he isn’t as fond of. Unfortunately, it turns out that he doesn’t love it when you call him Xi Dada.
In a message on Monday, Xi wished North Korea all the best under its new chairman, via KCNA:
I wish the Korean people fresh success in carrying out the cause of socialism under the leadership of the WPK headed by Chairman Kim Jong Un.
We will make efforts together with the DPRK side to bring happiness to the two countries and their peoples and contribute to peace, stability and development in this region by steadily developing the Sino-DPRK friendship and cooperation.
Recently, this region has been somewhat less than stable. Beijing seems to have grown increasingly annoyed by North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. In March, China backed a UN resolution mandating new international sanctions against North Korea, following its fourth nuclear test in January.
In line with the sanctions, China banned imports of coal, iron, gold and titanium from North Korea, as well as restricting the export of jet fuel and other oil products necessary to make rocket fuel.
In response, Kim labelled North Korea’s strongest ally as a “detested enemy.” A government document that is believed to have been distributed to the masses, also called for all North Koreans to “crush China’s pressuring schemes with the force of a nuclear storm.”
On Monday, the WPK’s newly elected chairman vowed that he would not use nuclear weapons unless his country was attacked first.