North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Il Visits NE China on Homeward Trip

Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (R) shakes hands with top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Il in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Aug. 26, 2011. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) arrived in northeastern China on 25 August (Thursday) and visited Heilongjiang Province on 26 August (Friday), during his return trip from Russia.  On Thursday KJI visited Hulun Buir (Hailar) in autonomous Inner Mongolia.    He was greeted at the railway station by Wang Jiarui and various local officials.  He took in the city’s skyline, then attended a banquet and art performance, according to KCNA:

Commanding a bird’s-eye view of the night scenery, he got familiar with the history and culture of the region and the achievements made by its people in construction.

The Inner Mongolian Autonomous Regional Committee of the CPC gave a grand banquet at the Tianjiao State Guest House in honor of Kim Jong Il visiting the region.

He was present on invitation.

Speeches were made.

Hu Chunhua said that today we welcomed Kim Jong Il to this vast steppe where President Kim Il Sung was accorded warm welcome several times long ago, thereby seeing the desire of the party, the government and the people of the autonomous region come true at last.

Hu Chunhua noted that the traditional Sino-DPRK friendship will remain ever-green like the vast steppe along with history, expressing firm belief that the friendly Korean people would make fresh success in the efforts to improve the standard of people’s living and build a prosperous and powerful nation.

A specially prepared art performance was given in honor of Kim Jong Il.

Artistes of the autonomous region including Hulun Buir National Song and Dance Troupe put on the stage such colorful numbers strong in national flavor as national song and dance “Song of Wedding”, national instrumental solo “Vast Steppe”, dance “Dance of Bowl”, chorus “Calling You” and Korean song “Arirang”.

The performers clearly reflected the boundless respect and reverence of the government and the people of the region for Kim Jong Il visiting China again for the development of the Sino-DPRK friendship.

Kim Jong Il conveyed a floral basket to the performers in congratulation of their successful performance and had a photo taken with them.

He was presented with a gift by Hu Chunhua on behalf of the party committee of the autonomous region.

He expressed thanks for the warm reception and cordial hospitality accorded him by the party, government and people of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. He hoped the people of the region would achieve a fresh victory in their struggle for the prosperity and development of the country under the leadership of the CPC.

Kim Jong Il departed for the next destination that day amid the warm send-off from the leading officials of the region.

Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (R) shakes hands with top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Il in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Aug. 26, 2011. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

A North Korean special train carrying Kim Jong-il arrives at China's Manzhouli Station, near the Russian border, on Aug. 25. (Yonhap)

Upon entry into China, KJI’s travel party changed with the addition of two officials: DPRK Ambassador to the PRC Ji Jae Ryong (Chi Chae Ryo’ng) and Ri Ki Pom, diplomatic counsel in Shenyang.  KJI then moved along into Heilongjiang Province where he visited Qiqihar and Daqing.  In Qiqihar he visited a machine tool factory and dairy farm, and in Daqing he visited an apartment building construction site.  He also met with Dai Bingguo.  Xinhua reports on his visit to Heilongjiang Province:

In a meeting with Kim, Dai, entrusted by Hu Jintao, Chinese president and general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), conveyed sincere greetings from Hu to Kim and welcomed Kim on behalf of the CPC, the Chinese government and people.

Kim, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission, thanked China’s warm hospitality and conveyed his sincere greetings to Hu.

Kim made an unofficial visit to China in May. Dai said that after an interval of three months, Kim visited China again. It fully demonstrated the high attention attached by Kim, the WPK, the DPRK government and people to the consolidation and growth of China-DPRK ties.

During his previous visit, Hu and Kim had an in-depth exchange of views of bilateral ties and issues of mutual interests. “Along with DPRK comrades, we are willing to earnestly implement important consensus reached by the top leaders of our two countries and promote the continuous growth of our ties,” Dai said.

Kim said China and DPRK are close neighbors and should have frequent contacts. “Every time I visited China, I can feel the friendly affections from the Chinese people to the Korean people,” he said.

He spoke highly of the development momentum of current China-DPRK ties. Bilateral exchanges and cooperation should be enhanced between different departments and localities of the two countries in various areas, he said.

During his stay in Heilongjiang, Kim visited the cities of Qiqihar and Daqing. In Qiqihar, Kim toured Qier Machine Tool Group Co., a large state-owned enterprise, and Mengniu Dairy, a leading Chinese dairy producer. In Daqing, he toured an urban planning exhibition hall and a residential district.

“I’ve seen new changes every time I came here,” he said. He wished that China would smoothly realize the goals set in its 12th Five-year Plan under the leadership of the CPC.

Kim came on Thursday to China’s Manzhouli, a border city in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, after his Russian tour.

Qiqihar and Daqing, two cities in northeastern China Kim Jong Il visited on 26 August 2011 on his return trip to the DPRK (Photo: Google image)

Whilst meeting with Dai, KJI repeated his “no preconditions” declaration on the DPRK’s return to the Six Party Talks.  His meeting with Dai occurred one day after ROK representative to the Six Party Talks, Wi Sung-lac, visited Beijing for one day where he met with Wu Dawei.

Kim, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission, made the remarks while meeting with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo during his visit to northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province.

The DPRK adheres to the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and is ready to fully implement the Sept. 19 joint statement along with all sides for maintaining and promoting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, he said.

Launched in 2003, the six-party talks on the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula involved China, the DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Russia.

The 9.19 Joint Statement was signed on Sept. 19, 2005, in which the DPRK promised to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.

Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (C front) and Chinese officers pose for a group photo with a Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s delegation headed by Jon Chang Bok (5th L front), chief of the General Logistics Bureau of the DPRK's Armed Forces Department, in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 26, 2011. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

Kim Jong Il is not the only DPRK official who traveled to China this week. Col. Gen.  Jon Chang Bok (Cho’n Chang-pok), chief of the KPA General Logistics Department met with Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on 26 August.   Xinhua reports:

Liang said China and the DPRK enjoy a traditional friendship due to shared treasures inherited from the two countries’ former leaders. The two countries and the two militaries have continued to strengthen a friendly partnership over the years, promoting the development of both countries and militaries and safeguarding common interests.

“Under new historical phases, China is willing to enhance its communication and coordination with the DPRK to further promote military ties between the two sides, and make joint contributions in safeguarding regional stability as well as world peace, stability and prosperity. ” Liang said.

Jon Chang Bok said the mutual support and assistance between the two militaries has broadened the content of DPRK-China friendship. He said the DPRK will always work with China to promote ties between the two countries and the two militaries during turbulent international situations.

He also hopes to learn about military logistics construction from China.

Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (R) meets with Jon Chang Bok, chief of the General Logistics Bureau of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Armed Forces Department, in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 26, 2011. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

Jon Chang Bok’s visit to Beijing occurred as a report emerged in ROK media that the DPRK purchased several thousand trucks and jeeps.  Chosun Ilbo reports:

There were eight video clips of varying lengths ranging from two minutes to 16 minutes. The footage shows Chinese-produced military vehicles standing in the 10,000 sq.m parking lot of the Dandong customs office waiting to be cleared along with other civilian cars, and two-story trailers loaded with military vehicles waiting on the side road to enter the customs office. A local source in Dandong said, “Normally, all Chinese-made vehicles going into North Korea were civilian, but in July, a massive number of military cars went to North Korea.”

A senior source in North Korea said that these cars were gifts to military officers by North Korea’s heir apparent Kim Jong-un in celebration of “Victory Day,” or the day the armistice in the Korean War was signed on July 27. “North Korean military vehicles produced in the 1970s and the 80s are too old to carry out drills, and many soldiers were dissatisfied. In order to buy the loyalty of the military and show what he can do, Kim Jong-un replaced the old vehicles thanks to the assistance of China,” the source added.

Jeeps were given to officers to be used to conduct operations, and the trucks were given to soldiers.

Analysis of the footage suggests the trucks were 6-ton trucks made by FAW Car Limited Company. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visited the headquarters of this firm in Changchun, Jilin, during his visit to China in May. The military jeeps were manufactured by Beijing Automobile Works with engine capacity of 2,200 cc and 100 horsepower. BAW, which specializes in SUVs, trucks and military vehicles, is a subsidiary of Beijing Automotive Group, a partner of Hyundai Motor.

Dump trucks, large buses, sedans, oil trucks, agricultural machines and heavy machinery were also spotted in the video going into North Korea. In the windscreen, the name of the recipients is written. One is Korea Taesong Trading Company, a trading company under the Workers Party that manages Kim Jong-il’s slush funds. It was blacklisted by the U.S. as part of its economic sanctions against the North.

Meanwhile, the DPRK is moving quickly to formalize military and economic agreements resulting from KJI’s meeting with Dmitry Medvedev. On 25 August chief of the KPA General Staff met with Konstantin Sidenko, commander of Russia’s Eastern Military District.  KCNA reports:

Ri Yong Ho, chief of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, Thursday met and had a talk with the delegation of the Eastern Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation led by Commander of the District Konstantin Sidenko.

DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim (R) shakes hands with Russian Minister of Regional Development Viktor Basargin (L) after a meeting Friday, 26 August in Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

On 26 August, DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (Ri Ryo’ng-nam) signed an agreement on economic cooperation and technical exchanges:

A protocol of the 5th Meeting of the DPRK-Russia Intergovernmental Committee for Cooperation in Trade, Economy, Science and Technology was signed at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on Friday.

Present there were Ri Ryong Nam, minister of Foreign Trade and chairman of the DPRK side to the Committee, and officials concerned and the members of the Russian governmental economic delegation led by Minister of Regional Development Viktor Basargin, chairman of the Russian side to the Committee, and Arkady Lavrov, charge d’affaires a.i. of the Russian embassy here.

Ri Ryong Nam and Viktor Basargin inked the protocol.

DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam shakes hands with Russian Ministerr of Regional Development Viktor Basargin on 26 August 2011 at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

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