N.Korea, China agree to strengthen cooperation, defend common interests

North Korea and China have agreed in a meeting of senior envoys to strengthen cooperation and defend common interests.

North Korea's ruling Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, wrote on Saturday that the country's Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui met with visiting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong in Pyongyang on Friday.

The Rodong Sinmun said they confirmed that the two countries will significantly commemorate the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties, designated as a "friendship year" by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The newspaper said the two sides expressed their intention to continue strengthening tactical cooperation and to defend their common core interests.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Ho also met with Sun on Friday. The Rodong Sinmun said they exchanged views on various global issues, including situations in Northeast Asia, stressing the two countries' stance of working closely together.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported that North Korea may have explained its change in policy toward South Korea to China. Kim said last month that his country will redefine South Korea as a hostile enemy country rather than as a party to be reunited with.