Beijing is willing to work with Pyongyang on “regional and global peace and stability”, China’s president told North Korea ’s leader just days after international calls for Xi Jinping to help stop Pyongyang’s aggressive nuclear and missile activities. Xi’s message was part of a letter to Kim dated Tuesday and stressing the importance of China-North Korea relations, Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Saturday. The letter was an apparent reply to one from Kim congratulating Xi on gaining endorsement for a third term at the Communist Party’s national congress last month. In his letter, Xi vowed to work with Kim to continue to strengthen their relations as the world changed in “unprecedented ways”. “Under the new situation, I am ready, together with you, to make a fresh and positive contribution to providing the peoples of the two countries with better well-being, promoting the development of the socialist cause in the two countries, and hastening the peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region and the rest of the world,” KCNA quoted Xi as saying. Chinese and North Korean leaders have a long tradition of regular exchanges of letters, especially on important events. Xi’s last letter to Kim was on October 16 before the party congress, when he stressed the importance of communication and cooperation between the two countries. Xi’s latest message came after US President Joe Biden told his Chinese counterpart in a meeting on November 14 that “defensive action” would be taken against North Korea if it conducted a nuclear test. Biden also told Xi that he had an “obligation” to stop Pyongyang’s tests, adding later that he did not know how much influence China would have on North Korea. The talks took place on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, and were followed by a meeting between Xi and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, where Pyongyang’s nuclear activities were again discussed. Several days later, Pyongyang fired an intercontinental ballistic missile, prompting US allies to convene an emergency meeting during the Apec summit in Bangkok, Thailand. While in Bangkok, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also pressed Xi to play a larger role in North Korea issues. But there was no mention of North Korea in official Chinese statements after any of Xi’s meetings – although Xi reaffirmed China’s opposition to nuclear war and nuclear weapons while addressing Ukraine tensions. Only Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the matter directly, saying after the Xi-Biden meeting that Xi told Biden that China’s stance was consistent and that related parties’ concerns should be resolved in a “balanced manner”, especially the “legitimate concerns” of North Korea. Renmin University international relations professor Shi Yinhong said Xi’s letter to Kim was a “tactful way” to highlight the importance of stability on the Korean peninsula, but China was unlikely to take any harsher measures against North Korea. “The current situation has obviously deteriorated, due to actions from North Korea, and especially actions from the US and South Korea,” Shi said. “China hopes, in a tactful way, that the North Koreans will consider their own behaviour from the perspective of stability and peace in this region. “Even without the Bali summit, China probably would have made this tactful expression.” North Korea ups sabre-rattling by firing suspected ICBM that can hit US China has long said it supports denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but it also opposes economic sanctions against its neighbour. In May, China vetoed a US-led United Nations Security Council resolution to impose fresh sanctions on North Korea for the first time since 2006. At a UN Security Council meeting this week, Chinese ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun said again that dialogue was key to resolving issues of the Korean peninsula and urged the US to stop military exercises and pressuring North Korea with sanctions. North Korea conducted a flurry of missile launches this month after the US and South Korea mounted their biggest war games on the Korean peninsula in late October. Hundreds of warplanes took part in the “Vigilant Storm” operation that North Korea described as a “rehearsal of invasion”.