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'Lips and teeth' no more as China's ties with North Korea fray

By Philip Wen and Christian Shepherd BEIJING (Reuters) - When Kim Jong Un inherited power in North Korea in late 2011, then-Chinese president Hu Jintao was outwardly supportive of the untested young leader, predicting that "traditional friendly cooperation" between the countries would strengthen. Two years later, Kim ordered the execution of his uncle Jang Song Thaek, the country's chief interlocutor with China and a relatively reform-minded official in the hermetic state.
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