Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
KWP International Secretary Kim Yong Il (Kim Yo’ng-il) met with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday, 23 April, in Beijing. The meeting took place after a strategic dialogue between the Korean Workers’ Party and the Chinese Communist Party on Saturday (21 April) and it occurred as DPRK state media amped up its attacks on South Korea’s political leadership and ahead of an upcoming US-PRC interaction. Kim’s meeting with Hu most likely included discussions of the DPRK’s launch of the U’nha-3. The Chinese leadership may also have restated its invitation for DPRK supreme leader, Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) to visit China. Xinhua English reports:
Hu said the success of the Fourth WPK Conference and the fifth session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly, at which Kim Jong Un was elected the supreme leader, will be remembered as a major event in the political life of the WPK and the DPRK people. He described it as significant for the future in construction of the DPRK’s ruling party and nation.
The president expressed confidence that, under Kim Jong Un, the WPK and DPRK government will lead its people to blaze new trails and make new achievements in the cause of building a prosperous and strong country.
During the meeting, Hu said China-DPRK friendship was created and fostered by older generations of leaders and has become a common wealth of both countries. China will as always work with DPRK comrades to maintain high-level contact and exchanges between the political parties, promote practical cooperation and good-neighborly friendship and strengthen communication and coordination on major regional and international issues, according to Hu.
He added the two sides will make unremitting efforts to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, realize long-term security of Northeast Asia and promote common development.
According to Kim Yong Il, Kim Jong Un’s election as First Secretary of the WPK and First Chairman of the National Defence Commission laid a solid foundation for the DPRK to carry through the unfulfilled will of late DPRK leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and advance the cause of revolution and construction.
Kim Yong Il said the DPRK is delighted to see China’s achievements under the leadership of the CPC in implementing scientific development and building a harmonious society.
He added the tradition of friendship between the ruling parties and the two countries was cherished by past leaders. The DPRK side is delighted to see strengthening relations between the two countries.
Kim Yong Il said cooperation between the WPK and CPC followed the teachings of late Chairman Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il and it will remain the firm stance of the WPK. He said the DPRK will as always work hard to advance relations between the ruling parties and the two countries.
Li Yuanchao, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Organizational Department of the CPC Central Committee, also met with Kim Yong Il Monday afternoon.
Li hailed the friendship between China and the DPRK, pledging to enhance exchanges, cooperation and strategic communication between the two sides so as to further bilateral ties.
Kim Yong Il reaffirmed the DPRK’s will to deepen exchange and cooperation with China in various fields.
Kim’s visit to China and his meetings on Monday with President Hu, Li Yuanchao and his Saturday meeting with Wang Jiarui may have been arranged on short notice. Hankyoreh reports:
While there was no word on whether the two countries discussed North Korea’s recent rocket launch at the talks, sources suggested the discussions focused on the political situation in the wake of that launch.
A diplomatic source in Beijing said, “To the rest of the world, China is clearly stating its opposition to additional sanctions that might destabilize North Korea, but to Pyongyang it gave a clear warning that it should not engage in any further provocations that might make the situation worse, such as a third nuclear test.
“We also believe North Korea briefed Beijing on the appointment of Kim Jong-un to first secretary at the recent WPK representatives’ meeting,” the source added.
The talks between Pyongyang and Beijing came at a chilly time between the countries. China was unusually critical of North Korea after its rocket launch and didn’t stand in the way of a United Nations Security Council president’s statement condemning Pyongyang’s actions.
As the meeting took place on Saturday, typically a day off, and the North Korean delegation arrived via Air China on a day when there were no Beijing flights for the North Korean carrier Air Koryo, observers suggested Pyongyang was troubled by China’s strong response and hurriedly arranged the talks in an effort at appeasement.
Xinhua said these were the second strategic talks between North Korea and China, after a first set in North Korea in June 2011.