North Korean media has criticized China through a state-run news agency by comparing it to the United States, in what is believed to be the first time in the nation’s history it has criticized its ally in a public manner.

A post from President Trump may have inspired the comparison

The North Korean KCNA news agency, which is state run, had made the criticism, comparing China to the United States. Reportedly, the country had not been identified directly by name, but was referred to as having once been a "friendly neighbor." That said, experts believe it is referring to China.

It is likely that the criticism came out of recent current events, with China publicly supporting United Nations sanctions against North Korea's nuclear program, which has in turn, lead to China banning North Korean coal imports. It has been speculated that this comparison was intended as Kim Jong Un's government’s way of sending a message to the Chinese government to halt such protest.

The reason North Korea had targeted the United States directly may be tied to an incident involving current President Donald Trump, who had criticized China on social media for not doing enough to contain Pyongyang. In the post, President Trump had particularly highlighted the fact that China was willing to trade "money and wealth" from the United States in spite of a refusal to help against North Korea.

The incident happened shortly before Trump had taken office.

There are many reasons the two countries want a stable relationship

Professor Hu Xingdou, who serves as a political affairs commentator and is based at the Beijing Institute of Technology, maintained that this is not the first time that North Korea has been critical of its ally, but what is significant is that this is likely the first time it had been done in public.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also released a statement, repeating the sentiment that the countries are “friendly neighbors” and hopes for stability in the future.

For many reasons, China risks a lot with its relationship to North Korea. According to experts, North Korea may have enough fuel to produce around twenty bombs, with an additional half dozen each year, and can still pose a potential threat to China.

According to Hu, China should take this response seriously. Added to that, bilateral trade is a necessity for both countries. Likewise, a unified Korea with South Korea as the main government would not be in the best interest for China, as such an establishment would have both the presence of American troops and foreign policy supporting a stable relationship with the United States.