North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

DPRK, PRC to “Strengthen” Military Cooperation

Kim Jong Il poses for a commemorative photograph with a senior Chinese PLA delegation on 17 November 2011 (Photo: KCNA-Yonhap)

Kim Jong Il held a meeting and hosted a reception for Li Jinai, director of the Chinese PLA’s General Political Department, and a senior delegation of PLA officers on 17 November at which the two sides “said they would strengthen military exchanges and cooperation.”  Xinhua reported:

China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have said they would strengthen military exchanges and cooperation.

The two sides vowed to do so during an official goodwill visit from Nov. 15 to 18 to the DPRK by a senior Chinese military delegation led by Director of the General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Li Jinai.

During a meeting with Li, top DPRK leader Kim Jong Il said the military relationship is an important part of the ties between the two countries. He said he hoped the two militaries would continue to improve their ties so as to help consolidate and develop the China-DPRK friendship.

Li said the Chinese military, in accordance with the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, is willing to work with the DPRK in the new historic era to enhance understanding and mutual trust and strengthen practical exchanges. This would promote the all-round development of China-DPRK relations, which are neighborly and friendly, he said.

Li also met with some senior DPRK military officers. During the meetings, Li expounded China’s views on the current international and regional situations.

The Chinese official reiterated the Chinese government’s principles and stand on issues related to the Korean Peninsula, and expressed China’s willingness to make joint efforts with the DPRK to maintain regional peace and stability.

Kim Jong Il toasts with Li Jinai, member of the PRC's Central Military Commission and director of the PLA's General Political Department, during a dinner reception (Photo: KCNA)

KCNA reported:

The traditional Sino-DPRK friendship forged and cultivated by the leaders of the elder generation of the two countries have entered a new stage of development under the deep care of Hu Jintao and Kim Jong Il, he said.

In recent years there was a brisk exchange of high-ranking delegations between the two countries and important agreements were reached on developing the friendly and cooperative relations and bilateral exchange and cooperation in various fields including politics, economy and military affairs have registered steady and abundant achievements, he noted.

It is the steadfast policy of the party, government and army of China to put into practice the common understandings reached between the leaders of the two countries and boost the friendly and cooperative relations between the peoples of the two countries, between the armies, in particular, he added.

Kim Jong Il warmly welcomed the visit of the high-ranking military delegation of the CPLA to the DPRK and asked Li Jinai to pass his warm regards to the members of the collective leadership of the CPC including Hu Jintao and the fraternal army and people of China.

The armies of the two countries have played a positive role in developing the DPRK-China friendly relati ons in the past, he expressed the belief that there would be no change in the sense of revolutionary obligation and class principle between the armies and peoples of the two countries no matter how the situation may change in the future.

Li Jinai presented Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un with the gifts prepared by him with his best wishes.

Li Jinai viewing a guestbook at a visit to the Liberation Tower during his visit to the DPRK. Also in attendance is KPA General Pak Jae Gyong (2nd R) (Photo: KCNA)

The meeting was Kim Jong Il’s third reported interaction with a Chinese official in less than a month, following his meeting with the PRC Vice Premier on 24 October and a reception for the PRC Ambassador to the DPRK on 31 October.  Li arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday (15 November).  During his stay Li visited several sights including the Kumsusan Memorial Hall and the Liberation Tower.  He also met with senior KPA officials including Gen. Kim Jong Gak, senior deputy (vice) director of the KPA General Political Department, and Gen. Pak Jae Gyong.  Li’s four-day visit to the DPRK occurred while PRC leadership litigated their posture in the South China Sea with other Asian leaders.  It also followed a visit to China by the Korean People’s Interior Forces from 8 to 12 November.  KPIF commander Col. Gen. Ri Tae Chol met Li on 11 November and the Chinese official previewed the message that would underscore his subsequent visit to the DPRK.  KCNA reported:

Li Jinai, director of the General Political Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Friday underscored the need for China and the DPRK to boost bilateral exchange and cooperation and thus contribute to development of ties between the two countries and armies.

He said this at a friendly talk with the delegation of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces led by Col. Gen. Ri Thae Chol in Beijing.

Li at the talk noted that the traditional China-DPRK friendly relations have steadily developed under the deep care of the top leaders of the two countries.

Commander of the Korean People's Interior (Internal Security) Forces, Col. Gen. Ri Thae Chol (L) during a meeting with Li Jinai on 11 November in Beijing

The PLA’s press also reported on Li and Ri’s meeting:

Li Jinai said that the traditional friendly bilateral relations between China and the DPRK have enjoyed constant consolidation and development for years through joint efforts of both countries under the great concerns of the leaders of the two countries. In the new historical period, the Chinese side is willing to work together with the DPRK side to further strengthen communication and coordination, and deepen exchanges and cooperation, so as to make due contributions to further developing the relations between the two countries and the two militaries, and maintaining regional and world peace, stability and prosperity.

Li Jinai spoke highly of the exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force (APF) and the Interior Force of the DPRK.

Ri Tae Chol said that the two militaries of the DPRK and China have been helping and supporting each other for a long time, and have established and developed friendly relationship between the two countries. The Interior Force of the DPRK hopes to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese APF, so as to make positive efforts to develop comprehensive relations between the two countries.

While Li and the PLA delegation were in Pyongyang, Chinese Vice President (and next President) Xi Jinping met a 100-member delegation of the Kim Il Sung Youth League, who arrived in Beijing earlier in the day on 17 November.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R, Front) meets with a youth delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) led by DPRK's top youth official Ri Yong Chol in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 17, 2011. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (C, 1st row) poses for group photo during a meeting with a youth delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) led by DPRK's top youth official Ri Yong Chol in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 17, 2011. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

One comment on “DPRK, PRC to “Strengthen” Military Cooperation

  1. Pingback: A Yanji Sketch, and Notes on the Dandong Leadership | SINO-NK

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