July 13 (UPI) -- North Korea could be taking sides in ongoing disputes between the United States and China as the U.S. and its allies, including Japan, are pursuing new defense strategies in the South China Sea.
Choson Sinbo, the pro-Pyongyang newspaper of the Japan-based General Association of Korean Residents, stated Monday the United States is to blame for U.S.-China tensions that range from Hong Kong, trade disputes and the novel coronavirus.
"North Korea is actively supporting China's position, as the U.S.-China relationship is deteriorating at an unprecedented pace," the newspaper of Pyongyang's de facto embassy in Japan said.
"As long as the United States is dragging relations with China to a confrontation between ideologies and institutions, the U.S.-China clash will be prolonged, regardless of who is in charge in the United States."
The newspaper said the relationship between the two nations has transcended competition and is at a stage where the two "cannot coexist."
"In all aspects of politics, economy and the military, the United States is making pressure on China on all fronts official policy," the Choson Sinbo said.
The pro-Pyongyang news service is weighing in on U.S.-China relations following joint U.S.-Japan exercises in the South China Sea.
Earlier this month, North Korean state media praised Chinese leader Xi Jinping following China's imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong, which would criminalize anyone in the city challenging Beijing's authority.
"Our people are confident that the Chinese people will surely achieve victory in their struggle to build a modernized socialist power under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and its core, Comrade Xi Jinping," Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said.
U.S. and Chinese maneuvers in the South China Sea are raising concerns in the region.
"With both China and the United States deploying significant numbers of ships and military aircraft in close proximity with one another, the risk of collision is an ever-present danger," said Olli Pekka Suorsa, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, according to Radio Free Asia.