Books written by China's President Xi Jinping, translated into foreign languages, are on display during the opening ceremony of the World Political Parties Dialogue at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. Pool Photo by Fred Dufour/EPA
Dec. 1 (UPI) -- China launched its first World Political Parties Dialogue, with representatives from more than 120 countries in attendance, including Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi.
But in a sign of the testy relationship between Beijing and Pyongyang, North Korea did not send a delegation.
A source in Beijing told South Korean news agency Yonhap that North Korea decided not to send a team, citing "uncomfortable bilateral relations," despite both states' traditional ties as communist or socialist countries.
North Korea recently launched a long-range missile, a provocation that is being met with disapproval in China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping took the opportunity on Friday to extol the achievements of the Chinese Communist Party before the audience of international delegates.
Xi said China would work to build a "community of humanity" while recognizing differences in ideology across nations, according to Yonhap.
The Chinese leader also promoted Beijing's One Belt One Road Initiative as a way to "realize humanity's fate" and to connect the fate of each country together.
"China's Communist Party has become the largest political party in the world," Xi said. "The Communist Party of China will continue to contribute to world peace and stability and will enduringly stay away from pursuing domination."
In a statement that sounded like a warning to North Korea, Xi also said no country should threaten the security of other countries "for the sake of its own security."
A South Korean delegation, including lawmaker Choo Mi-ae, was in attendance.
Seoul and Beijing normalized ties after the two countries agreed to set aside differences over THAAD, the U.S. missile defense system designed to strike down North Korean projectiles.
Concern is growing in South Korea that North Korea could pursue additional provocations, including a test of the Hwasong-13, a three-stage missile, and the Pukguksong-3, a submarine-launched ballistic missile, South Korean newspaper Segye Ilbo reported.