Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to improve decades-long relations with North Korea and to promote regional peace and stability, local state media said.

Xi made the remarks in an article published in North Korea’s state-run Rondong Sinmun newspaper, on the eve of his state visit to Pyongyang, according to China’s Xinhua news agency.

The Chinese president noted that this year will mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.

“At this historical moment, at the invitation of Kim Jong Un […] I will pay a state visit to the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] with good wishes of carrying forward our friendship and writing a new chapter of our relations,” Xi said.

The Chinese president said that his government will continue to strengthen ties with North Korea “no matter how the international situation changes”.

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