Skip to comments.N. Korea: Kim reaches Yangzhou for Jiang meeting(also peeked into discount store)
Posted on 05/23/2011 9:02:01 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
Kim reaches Yangzhou for Jiang meeting
Doesnt seem to have met with Hu, but manages retail therapy at discount store
May 24, 2011
A boat carrying security personnel and other unidentified people tours the Slender West Lake park area, which was closed to the public in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, yesterday during Kim Jong-ils visit. The boat was part of a convoy of four making a tour of the scenic area, which was placed under tight security in the morning. [REUTERS/YONHAP]
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il spent the fourth day of his trip to China in Yangzhou, apparently for a meeting with former Chinese President Jiang Zemin. He apparently hadnt met current Chinese leaders, one of whom, Premier Wen Jiabao, was in Japan meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
Kims heavily guarded train entered Yangzhou Station around 7:55 p.m. Sunday night, local time.
Korean media quoted diplomatic sources saying that Kim met with Jiang after arriving in the city and requested economic assistance and discussed the imminent succession of Kim Jong-un, his youngest son and heir apparent. Yangzhou is Jiangs hometown.
The meeting was not made public nor confirmed by Chinese or North Korean authorities. The last meeting between the two men reported by Chinese media was in 2006.
Yesterday morning, Kim departed from his hotel at around 9 a.m. in a convoy of 15 luxury vehicles. His destination was allegedly an industrial complex, although the names of the factories or businesses he visited are not known.
After the visit, Kim returned to his Yangzhou hotel and wasnt seen leaving for an extended period, except to visit a nearby discount store with his entourage, witnesses said.
Locals in the area and other Chinese have criticized Kim Jong-ils trip to China online. On one of Chinas popular social networking services, Sina Weibo, several Internet users supported economic cooperation between the two countries, but others were hostile.
Every time Kim Jong-il comes to town, the train schedules become a mess, said one user identified as Cai. Its so annoying.
Other users microblogged saying Kims visit was a hassle and that he had come to China again for food.
Analysts and diplomatic sources in South Korea believe that Kim Jong-ils visit was rushed due to the urgency of the food crisis within North Korea. But they also believe Kim made the trip to get more Chinese support to bequeath power to Kim Jong-un.
It was not clear yesterday whether Kim Jong-un accompanied his father.
Although Beijing officially welcomes the succession of Kim Jong-un, its reported rebuffing of a solo trip to China by the heir apparent suggests a more complicated reaction.
Last October, after Kim Jong-un was made a four-star general and given a high position within the Workers Party, China sent a delegation of representatives and congratulated the new leadership of North Korea. In February, Meng Jianzhu, minister of the public security of China, also offered congratulatory words to Kim Jong-il for solving the succession problem well.
However, analysts now believe that those statements were to maintain the facade of good relations and to maintain Chinas power over the North, and that the younger power elite in China does not welcome the 20-something Kim Jong-un taking over North Korea.
The leadership in China is very doubtful of the third-generation succession in North Korea, said Cheong Seong-chang of the Sejong Institute. They are releasing statements that satisfy North Korea just enough in order to maintain the influence they have over the North.
This has led some to believe that Kim Jong-il met with Jiang Zemin - who still wields clout behind the scenes in Chinese politics - after intentionally bypassing Beijing and the current authorities in power.
Analysts also see significance in Kims visit occurring at the same time Wen is in Japan talking with South Koreas president. They say Beijing wants to boost its diplomatic influence in inter-Korean relations by talking to both Koreas at once. Two of Kims three visits to China in the past year were made about when important meetings were held between South Korea and China.
In Seoul, Ministry of Unification spokesman Chun Hae-sung said yesterday that although the government is aware of Kims visit to China, confirmations could not be made until North Korea or China officially report the visit.
Chun also played down the current food crisis in the North, saying that the government believes that the food situation is not particularly worse right now compared to previous years.
By Christine Kim, Lee Young-jong [firstname.lastname@example.org]
That he can’t get an audience within the current leadership speaks volumes............
IF he does not get to speak with any officials, other than a ‘former’ premier, then he will be humiliated...................
He’s so ronery...
Chia Pet stop at Chinese Wal mart who knew LOL!
Excellent analysis. Very much in tune with my understanding of Chinese politics - policy - diplomacy. “The more things change the more things stay the same”, as Sun Tzu might have put it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.