China’s relationship with North Korea is coming under a new test as Pyongyang denounced Beijing for complying with sanctions resolutions. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
May 4 (UPI) -- North Korea condemned China in strong language, in the latest sign of a growing rift between Beijing and the Kim Jong Un regime over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
The statement from North Korea is unprecedented because it addressed China directly, and exposed the increasingly problematic relationship between the two neighbors.
Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA issued the statement on Thursday and claimed the message was from a North Korean official.
"It is not China that is the target of [its own] deceptive and treacherous actions, but North Korea's strategic interests that have been infringed upon," the statement read, adding China was sacrificing the "dignity and survival" of the Pyongyang regime.
North Korea referred to editorials that ran in Chinese state newspapers, and charged Beijing with playing along with the United States.
"The United States has been plotting domination of the Asia-Pacific for a long time, even before we acquired nuclear weapons, and their chief target is China," Pyongyang stated, adding the country had been serving as a "protecting role" or buffer zone on China's behalf, against U.S. strategies.
In April, China's Global Times had issued an opinion suggesting Beijing should stand with the United Nations Security Council sanctions resolutions against North Korea.
The editorial had also recommended China to prepare for North Korea condemnations, which would be issued in order to influence China's next move.
On Thursday the Chinese foreign ministry denied any wrongdoing, and said Beijing has a "fair and objective position" with regards to all concerned parties.