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China’s Xi sends rare message to North Korea’s Kim

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un a rare message “out of politeness,” Beijing said Thursday, in his first public communication with his wayward neighbour for more than a year.

The note signalled a possible improvement in their strained relationship, which has soured over Pyongyang’s growing weapons ambitions even though Beijing is its longtime ally and economic benefactor.

Xi’s message, dated Wednesday, was sent in response to congratulations from Kim last week for securing a second term as the head of China’s ruling party.

“I wish that under the new situation the Chinese side would make efforts with the DPRK side to promote the relations between the two parties and the two countries to sustainable soundness and stable development,” Xi said, according to the North’s KCNA news agency, addressing Kim as “Comrade Chairman”.

In his earlier note, Kim had offered Xi his “sincere congratulations” and expressed his belief that their relations would develop “in the interests of the people of the two countries”.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing in Beijing Thursday that North Korea’s message was just one among many others received. Xi had responded “out of politeness,” she said.

The last time KCNA reported a message from Xi was in July 2016.

Analysts say that such exchanges have become extremely rare under the current leaders, even though Beijing and Pyongyang traditionally sent greetings and congratulations on each other’s key anniversaries in the past.

Their relationship was forged in the bloodshed of the Korean War, when Mao Zedong sent millions of “volunteers” to fight US-led United Nations forces to a standstill.

Mao described the allies as close as “lips and teeth”, and China has long been accused of failing to enforce United Nations sanctions against the North for its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, even after voting for them in the Security Council.

But Beijing has grown increasingly frustrated by its belligerent neighbour, and rapidly backed a new set of UN measures after a flurry of missile launches by the North and its sixth nuclear test in September.

Professor Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul said the public exchange of messages signalled a willingness on both sides to improve relations.

“The fact that both sides are swiftly trading letters and announcing it carries a symbolic meaning,” Yang told AFP.

“If the message was more intimate, we could expect a faster thawing of ties,” he added, “but for now, it shows that both sides agree on the need to improve their relations”.

Guardian

FOREIGN

Kendrick Lamar Beats Drake; Set New Spotify Record In The US

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Kendrick Lamar Beats Drake; Set New Spotify Record | Fab.ng

The latest release by Kendrick Lamar, ‘Not Like Us‘, has made waves in the music industry by setting a remarkable record on Spotify. This track has secured its place as the most-streamed hip-hop song in a single day in the United States. This marked a significant achievement for Lamar and further fueled the ongoing rivalry between him and Drake.

The beef between Kendrick Lamar and Drake has been a topic of intense speculation and discussion among fans. This latest development adds to their competitive dynamic. Now, ‘Not Like Us’ outperformed Drake’s previous record holder, ‘Girls Want Girls’ featuring Lil Baby, which had held the top spot.

Released on May 5th, 2024, ‘Not Like Us’ quickly gained traction.

It amassed an impressive 6.593 million Spotify streams on its debut day alone. This surge in popularity underscores Lamar’s influence and relevance in the hip-hop genre. It also highlights the interest surrounding his ongoing feud with Drake.

The significance of this record-breaking feat extends beyond mere numbers. It is a symbolic victory in the ongoing battle for dominance between the two rap heavyweights. Some listeners may interpret Lamar’s achievement as a bold statement of superiority, amplifying the tension and rivalry between the artists.

A series of diss tracks and public exchanges have characterised the feud between Kendrick Lamar and Drake. Each of these escalates the conflict to new heights. The origins of their feud can be traced back to Kendrick’s controversial verse on ‘Control’. In the song, he called out several fellow rappers, including Drake, igniting a rivalry that has captivated the hip-hop community.

The feud reached a tipping point when Kendrick delivered a scathing diss directed at Drake while featuring on Metro Booming & Future’s track ‘Like That’. Drake is never one to back down from a challenge. He responded with his own diss tracks, ‘Push Up’ and ‘Taylor Made Freestyle’. Expectedly, this sparked a back-and-forth exchange that has kept fans on the edge of their seats.

Other artists have been drawn into the fray amid this highly publicised feud.

Kendrick Lamar Beats Drake; Set New Spotify Record | Fab.ng

J. Cole

J. Cole initially responded to Kendrick’s provocations on his surprise album ‘Might Delete Later’. He later extended an olive branch by publicly apologising to Kendrick during his 2024 Dreamville concert.

As the feud continues, it has become a focal point of conversation within the hip-hop community. Fans eagerly await each new development and diss track release. Despite the controversy and tension surrounding their rivalry, the ongoing battle between Kendrick Lamar and Drake has solidified their status as two of the most influential figures in contemporary hip-hop.

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FOREIGN

BTS Singer V Ties Bandmates J-Hope, Jimin And Suga With New Hot 100 Hit

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BTS Singer V Ties Bandmates With New Hot 100 Hit | Fab.ng

South Korea’s global superstars, BTS, are currently fulfilling their mandatory military service. But that hasn’t slowed them down. A dedicated fan base continues to propel V, one of the BTS members, to new heights on the American music scene.

While the group is focused on their national duty, this particular member’s solo work resonates with American audiences.

BTS’s influence remains strong, even with all seven members enlisted. This latest achievement proves that their music transcends borders and continues to captivate listeners around the world.

V, a member of the global phenomenon BTS, is making waves as a solo artist. His brand new single, “Fri(end)s,” hit the prestigious Billboard Hot 100 chart at a very impressive No. 65 in its first week.

This marks V’s fourth time landing a song on the Hot 100, and this time, it’s all him. BTS, as a group, has already achieved an incredible record with 27 hits on the chart. But V’s solo success ties him with three of his bandmates for another impressive feat.

With “Fri(end)s,” V joins J-Hope, Jimin, and Suga in the exclusive club of BTS members with four Hot 100 hits to their names.

However, the top soloist title goes to another BTS member. Jung Kook has a whopping six Hot 100 entries under his name. That’s just one slot ahead of K-pop legend Psy, who boasts five hits on the chart.

V’s solo journey on the Hot 100 began in 2022 with the release of “Christmas Tree.” The song gained significant traction during the holiday season, but its official chart debut came in the new year.

This strong debut for “Fri(end)s” is a great sign for V’s solo career. Fans are eagerly awaiting to see how high the song can climb on the chart in the coming weeks.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Ariana Grande Surpasses Tie With Travis Scott, Reaches Justin Bieber’s Chart Record

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Ariana Grande Reaches Justin Bieber’s Chart Record | Fab.ng

Ariana Grande is dominating the Billboard charts this week. Her brand new album, “Eternal Sunshine,” has skyrocketed to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the biggest album debut of 2024 so far. Ariana Grande’s new single, “We Can’t Be Friends (Wait For Your Love),” also rocketed to the top of the Streaming Songs chart in the US. This chart tracks the most-played songs each week, considering both audio and video streams across major platforms.

This chart success isn’t just a one-off win for her. This feat marks Ariana Grande’s sixth time leading on the Streaming Songs chart, officially breaking her tie with rapper Travis Scott. Previously, both artists were locked in a four-way tie for third place with five chart-topping hits each. Now, Grande takes the solo bronze medal position, pushing Scott down to fifth.

Ariana Grande Reaches Justin Bieber’s Chart Record | Fab.ng

Ariana Grande now shares the number-two spot with pop superstar Justin Bieber. Both singers have snagged six No. 1 hits on the Streaming Songs chart. But Ariana Grande achieved her latest win much more recently than Justin Bieber.

Get the latest and greatest updates right away! Join our exclusive WhatsApp channel and never miss out on exciting news again.

Drake continues to dominate the streaming song chart. He has 20 No. 1 hits, a record no other artist has even come close to matching.

Following Drake is Taylor Swift, who has secured an impressive eight No. 1 hits on the Streaming Songs chart. She’s poised to add to her tally soon with the upcoming release of her new album, “The Tortured Poets Department.”

Ariana Grande has been on a roll this year, scoring two new No. 1 hits already. Her latest track, “We Can’t Be Friends (Wait For Your Love),” debuted at the top spot, following the success of her previous chart-topper, “Yes, And?” These two new hits join her previous four leaders: “Thank U, Next,” “7 Rings,” “Positions,” and the collaboration with The Weeknd, “Die For You.”

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