Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
On 12 May 2014 the Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair opened at the Three Revolutions Exhibition in Pyongyang. The 4-day trade fair consisted of 1,000 participants from 17 different countries. The 313 companies represented at the trade fair had exhibitions displaying electronics, machinery, metallurgy, construction materials, transportation, foodstuff, daily-use articles and light industry products. The opening ceremony was attended by DPRK Vice Premier Kim Yong Jin, Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade O Ryong Chol, Vice Chairman of the Pyongyang City People’s Committee Kim Song Dok, President of the DPRK Chamber of Commerce Ri Hak Gwon and, according to KCNA “officials in the field of trade, delegations from various countries and regions and diplomatic envoys and staff members of foreign embassies here.”
Among the diplomatic envoys attending the trade fair’s opening ceremony was Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Hongcai. According to the PRC Embassy in the DPRK in a report on 16 May, the exhibiting Chinese enterprises numbered 174, with over 300 exhibit personnel; the exhibits primarily included automobiles, engineering machinery, motorcycles, home electric appliances, and daily- use articles.” Ambassador Liu toured the trade fair and met with several representatives of Chinese companies. Ambassador Liu’s attendance at the opening ceremony and tour of the exhibition was not reported by DPRK state media, despite the fact that Chinese companies made up more than half of the companies participating in the trade fair. Ambassador Liu’s last observed mention in DPRK state media was on 13 April when he delivered a floral basket. After the trade fair, Ambassador Liu was mentioned by state media on 15 May after he met with DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong. The PRC Embassy in the DPRK has not been observed to have reported on this meeting.