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SEOUL: China’s President Xi Jinping emphasised the importance of cooperation between Beijing and Pyongyang in an unspecified “new situation”, North Korea’s state media reported Saturday.

North Korea, officially known as the DPRK, carried out an unprecedented seven weapon tests in January — including its most powerful missile since 2017 — with negotiations with the United States at a standstill.

It paused testing during the Beijing Winter Olympics, with analysts saying the decision could have been made out of deference to China. Beijing is Pyongyang’s most important ally and economic benefactor, their relationship forged in the bloodshed of the Korean War in the 1950s.

In his message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Xi said Beijing was ready to “develop the China-DPRK relations of friendship and cooperation” under a “new situation”, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. KCNA did not further elaborate on what the “new situation” entailed.

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