Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK and Chinese state media reported on 30 November (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) met with Li Jianguo, a member of the Communist Party of China’s [CPC] Political Bureau. KJU’s last reported public appearance was at a commemorative photo session with local police chiefs and personnel of the Ministry of People’s Security. Attending the meeting from the DPRK were Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Kim Ki Nam, KWP Secretary Kim Yang Gon and KWP International Affairs Department Deputy Director Kim Song Nam. In attendance from the PRC with Li Jianguo were Head of the CPC Central Committee International Liaison Department Wang Jiarui, Deputy Head of the CPC Central Committee Publicity Department Wang Xiaohui, Deputy Head of the CPC Central Committee International Liaison Department Liu Jieyi, Vice Minister of Supervision Yao Zengke and PRC Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Hongcai.
At the beginning of the meeting Li Jianguo gave Kim Jong Un a private letter from Xi Jinping, newly appointed General Secretary of the CPC. Li thanked KJU for receiving the CPC delegation and briefed KJU about the CPC’s 18th National Congress. According to KCNA, Li said “the CPC Central Committee headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping is pleased that the Korean people have achieved great successes in the effort for building a thriving socialist nation under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, true to the behests of leader Kim Jong Il,” that “China and the DPRK are friendly neighbors linked by the same mountain and rivers, he said, adding that it is the steadfast policy of the party and government of China to steadily boost the traditional Sino-DPRK relations of friendship and cooperation.” Li “renewed the will to make efforts together with the Korean comrades to successfully consolidate, build and develop the Sino-DPRK relations forged by the leaders of the elder generations of the two parties and two countries” and “sincerely hoped that Kim Jong Un and the WPK would register steady, fresh and bigger successes in building a thriving nation by leading the Korean people.” According to Xinhua Li Jianguo said, “We are willing to promote closer high-level exchanges and maintain strategic communication between the two parties, expand mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, and enhance communication and coordination on major global and regional affairs so as to jointly promote peace and stability in Northeast Asia.”
According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said “the 18th National Congress of the CPC marked a historic event which reviewed theoretical and practical experience and achievements gained by the Chinese party and people in socialist construction and provided a new landmark for hastening the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics” and “expressed expectation and belief that the fraternal Chinese people would keep the stability of society and sustainable economic development and improve the people’s living standard and thus attain the strategic goal for building a comprehensively well-off society of socialism under the leadership of the CPC with Xi Jinping as general secretary.” After the meeting Chinese delegation presented a gift to KJU.
Li Jianguo and the CPC delegation arrived in the DPRK on 29 November (Thursday), the first of a three nation tour including visits to Laos and Vietnam. During their stay in the Pyongyang, the CPC delegation visited the Friendship Tower in Pyongyang where, according to KCNA, they”observed a moment’s silence in memory of the fallen fighters of the Chinese People’s Volunteers who courageously fought against the armed invasion by the imperialists after their entry into the Korean front. Then they went round the tower.” Li Jianguo also met with KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam at the Mansudae Assembly Hall where “both sides exchanged views on the issue of boosting the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between the two parties and countries and matters of mutual concern.”
Later that day, the KWP Central Committee. hosted a banquet a Okryu Restaurant. Attending on behalf of the DPRK were Kim Ki Nam, KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department Kim Yong Il, and KWP Department Deputy Directors. According to KCNA, during the speeches Kim Ki Nam said “the CPC delegation’s visit to the DPRK is an expression of the steadfast stand of the new collective leadership of China to value and further develop the traditional DPRK-China friendship forged by the leaders of elder generations of the two countries,” that “he was pleased with the fact that the 18th National Congress of the CPC was successfully held and Xi Jinping was elected general secretary of the Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission of the CPC. It is the invariable will of the WPK and the DPRK government to steadily develop the DPRK-China relations of friendship and cooperation,” and Kim “expressed the belief that the Chinese people would successfully fulfill the tasks set forth in the national congress and make fresh successes in the work for promoting prosperity of China under the leadership of the CPC.”
Li Jianguo said in his remarks “that it is an expression of the will to boost the relations between the two parties and the two countries that the dear respected Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the WPK, sent a congratulatory message to Xi Jinping upon his election as the general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC and chairman of the Central Military Commission of the CPC,” Li “expressed a firm stand to develop the traditional Sino-DPRK friendship together with the DPRK side in the spirit of inheriting the tradition, facing up to the future, building good-neighborly friendship and strengthening cooperation,” Li said, “he was pleased with the fact that the Korean people closely united around the WPK headed by First Secretary Kim Jong Un have achieved fresh successes in various fields” and “expressed his conviction that the diligent and sagacious Korean people would accomplish the cause of building a thriving nation under the wise leadership of Kim Jong Un.”