Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Korea Times reports further on Kim Yang-gon’s jaunt to Beijing. This is adding fodder that an Inter-Korean summit meeting may take place, as Mr. Kim met with at least one South Korean legislator during the trip and may also have met with Beijing-based US officials. Kim Yang-gon was present in Beijing at around the same as Ri Gun, a fomer DPRK Ambassador to the UN and MOFA American Affairs Department Director-General. It is highly likely Mr. Kim and Mr. Ri met with one another, most likely to finalize Mr. Ri’s instructions prior to his departure for a week-long sojourn to the United States which will include visits to New York and San Diego. The US State Department has consistently played down Mr. Ri meeting with any US officials in San Diego, but this may be a case of one doth protesting too much.
According to Yonhap News Agency, Kim Yang-gon, Director of the KWP United Front Department visited Beijing earlier this week. There are no indications about whom he met with, but one might presume he was meeting with officials from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Kim was a councilor on the National Defense Commission prior to his appointment to the United Front Department. Mr. Kim manages Inter-Korean policy on behalf of Kim Jong-il and along with Kang Sok-ju is a trusted foreign policy adviser to General-Secretary Kim. He met with South Korea President Lee Myung-bak during the DPRK’s Seoul visit for the funeral of Kim Dae-jung. He also attended Kim Jong-il’s meetings with Hyundai Chair Hyun Jeong-eun, former US President Bill Clinton and China Premier Wen Jiabao. An media earlier report alleged that Kim Yang-gon met with Lee Myung-bak’s older brother, also in Beijing at the time, but this was denied by Lee Sang-deuk.