Kim Jong Un Blasts 'Hostile Forces' Trying to Hold China Back in Message to Xi Jinping

In a message of unity with China, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called out "hostile forces" trying to curb Chinese advancements.

To honor the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, Kim sent a message to Chinese President Xi Jinping expressing North Korea's "firm unity" with China's ruling party.

"The Workers' Party of Korea, " Kim said, "would raise [North Korea]-China friendship to a new strategic point as required by the times and as desired by the peoples of the two countries," according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Kim also made a dig at the United States, saying that "hostile forces' vicious slander and all-round pressure upon the Chinese Communist Party are no more than a last-ditch attempt and they can never check the ongoing advance of the Chinese people," according to KCNA.

China Communist Party Anniversary
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a message of unity to China to marks the Chinese Communist Party's anniversary and blasted "hostile forces" that are trying to curb China's growth. In this photo, Chinese President and Chairman of the Communist Party Xi Jinping is seen on a screen as the crowd listens during his speech at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party at Tiananmen Square on July 1, 2021 in Beijing, China. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Kim's message came a day after state media said he had told a powerful Politburo meeting that a "crucial" lapse in the anti-virus campaign has caused a "great crisis." He did not elaborate, but there was speculation that Kim may have aimed to raise a call for international assistance, including vaccine shipments.

North Korea maintains some of the world's toughest anti-virus measures, including 1 ½ years of border shutdowns, despite its much questionable claim to be coronavirus free. Such draconian steps have devastated its already struggling economy, and Kim has said before his country faces the "worst-ever" situation. It's unclear when North Korea would reopen its border with China, and so far, there are no reports that it has received any vaccines.

More than 90 percent of North Korea's trade goes through China, which has long been suspected of refusing to fully implement U.N. sanctions against North Korea imposed over its nuclear weapons programs. Experts say China worries about a collapse and chaos in North Korea because it doesn't want refugees flooding over the long border and a pro-U.S., unified Korea on its doorstep.

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin held out the possibility of sending assistance to North Korea.

"China and the DPRK have a long tradition of helping each other when they encounter difficulties," Wang said, referring to the North by the initials of its official name. "If necessary, China will actively consider providing assistance to the DPRK."

Kim Jong Un and China
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a message of unity to Chinese President Xi Jinping and blasted "hostile forces" that try to slander China and stop its growth. In this June 18, 2021, file photo provided by the North Korean government, he speaks during a Workers' Party meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea.The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File) Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP