Kim goes into diplomatic mode

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Kim goes into diplomatic mode

After being given new titles including “supreme leader,” North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un flexed his diplomatic muscle, sending messages to China, South Korea and the United States.

The North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said Friday that Kim sent a message to Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday to congratulate him on the 95th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding.

In the message, Kim stressed that he is willing to develop the friendship between the North and China to meet the demands of the new century so the two countries can promote socialism and guard the peace and security of Northeast Asia.

The message was sent the day after the Supreme People’s Assembly gave Kim the new title of Chairman of the State Affairs Commission. North Korea also revised its Constitution to define him as the “Supreme leader of the Republic.”

At that meeting, Kim appointed his two top diplomats - Ri Su-yong, Vice Chairman for International Affairs of the Workers’ Party, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho - as members of the commission, hinting that the North would be more aggressive in its diplomacy.

The message to China was an apparent attempt to improve deteriorated bilateral ties following the North’s nuclear and missile tests. While the North was conducting the rubber-stamp parliament meeting Wednesday, Chinese President Xi met in Beijing with visiting South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn.

Xi told Hwang that he will not recognize North Korea’s policy of simultaneously pursuing nuclear weapons and economic development, Yonhap News Agency reported, quoting a South Korean official who attended the meeting.

In another diplomatic move, Kim met with a special envoy from Cuba, KCNA reported Friday. He met with Salvador Antonio Valdes Mesa, special envoy of Cuban President Raul Castro, and emphasized cooperation between the North and Cuba.

Through the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, which was promoted from a Workers’ Party organ to a national office, Kim also issued messages to South Korea and the United States. The committee issued a statement Thursday telling Washington that it must make a wise decision before it is too late, stressing that its latest firing of Musudan missile has changed international affairs.

Toward Seoul, the committee issued a threat. It said the last chance to change the South’s fate will disappear forever unless Seoul accepts Pyongyang’s offer for talks.

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