China has congratulated North Korea for what national media call its
achievements, as North Korea celebrates 60 years since its founding. As Daniel
Schearf reports from Beijing, China's praise follows Pyongyang's announcement
that it had halted work to dismantle its nuclear reactor.
official Xinhua news agency quoted a message sent by President Hu Jintao,
legislative leader Wu Bangguo, and Premier Wen Jiabao, as saying the founding of
North Korea marked a new era where North Koreans became "masters of their own
The message said under North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and his
late father, former leader Kim Il Sung, the country had made "remarkable
China's Foreign Ministry also quoted the country's fourth
highest-ranked leader, Jia Qinglin, saying North Korea had made "obvious"
achievements in what he called economic construction, social development, and
China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu,
declined to elaborate on the details of those achievements.
China and North Korea are friendly neighbors and they always deal with their
neighbors on principles of peaceful co-existence. She says they hope these
friendly relations will continue.
Contrary to the praise from Chinese
leaders, among the world's most impoverished countries, isolated North Korea has
seen its economy shrink and it has become dependent on foreign donations of food
In comparison, South Korea has the world's 13th largest
economy and is a major food donor to the North.
North Korea's government
keeps tight control on its people and stands accused of widespread human-rights
Pyongyang in 2006 tested a nuclear explosive in defiance of the
international community. The United States, China, Japan, Russia, and South
Korea have promised the North millions of dollars in aid and diplomatic
incentives to end its nuclear programs.
Progress had been made toward
that end. But Washington says North Korea appears to be moving equipment back to
its main nuclear reactor, which had been disabled, after its demand to be
removed from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism was not met.
United States says it will not remove Pyongyang from the terrorism list until it
agrees on how its nuclear facilities can be verified.
Jiang says Chinese
officials have been in close contact with all sides in the
She says they hope that all the parties will stay in close
contact and work together to meet each other half-way so as to solve the problem
at an early date.
Korea was split after World War Two ended and Japan
lost control of the territory to the Soviets in the North and the United States
in the South.
North Korea invaded the South in 1950. The U.S. backed
South Korea and China supported the North in the fighting. The war technically
has not ended because only an armistice, not a peace treaty, was signed.