By Hwang Sunghee
North Korean and Chinese media were at loggerheads Thursday after Pyongyang's official news agency issued a rare and stinging denunciation of its chief ally and diplomatic backer.
Beijing should be grateful to Pyongyang for its protection, said a bylined commentary carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), warning of "grave consequences" if China tests its patience further.
China's Global Times newspaper retorted that the nuclear-armed North was in the grip of "some form of irrational logic" over its weapons programmes.
Beijing and Pyongyang have a relationship forged in the blood of the Korean War, and the Asian giant remains its wayward neighbour's main provider of aid and trade.
But ties have begun to fray in recent years, with China increasingly exasperated by the North's nuclear antics and fearful of a regional crisis. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has yet to visit Beijing, more than five years after taking power.
The rival texts are a sign of the level to which ties between the two have deteriorated. KCNA regularly carries vivid denunciations of the US, Japan, and the South Korean authorities, but it is rare for it to turn its ire on China.
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