May 29, 2024

Ties that bind: Geopolitics, not socialism, underpin North Korea-China alliance

Strategic cooperation against the democratic world links traditional allies as they prepare to reaffirm 1961 treaty

The relationship between the “hermit kingdom” of North Korea and economic giant China continues to be difficult to comprehend. Though their alliance goes back decades, tensions over the past few years have rebranded them more as “bitter allies” than traditional friends.

Next month, however, the two countries are set to reaffirm their Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, signed on July 11, 1961 and renewed every 20 years since. The military and security alliance outlined under Article II of the treaty has made their relationship a defining one for regional security. 

Become a member for less than $4 per week.

  • Unlimited access to all of NK News: reporting, investigations, analysis
  • The NK News Daily Update, an email newsletter to keep you in the loop
  • Searchable archive of all content, photo galleries, special columns
  • Contact NK News reporters with tips or requests for reporting
Get unlimited access to all NK News content, including original reporting, investigations, and analyses by our team of DPRK experts.
Subscribe now

All major cards accepted. No commitments – you can cancel any time.