Kim Yang Geon Snubbed in Beijing

Cho Jong Ik  |  2013-05-08 19:48
Kim Yang Geon, the director of the United Front Department of the Chosun Workers’ Party, was reportedly unable to meet with officials from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a recent unofficial visit to Beijing, Daily NK has learned.

A top-level inside North Korean source explained to Daily NK earlier today, “At the end of April Director Kim Yang Geon went unofficially to Beijing, China to discuss the issue of Kim Jong Eun visiting there.”

However, “The official in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs who met Director Kim was not a vice-director or a director; it was a bureau chief,” the source went on. “The North Korean leadership saw this as a diplomatic snub, and has refused to have any high-level exchanges with Chinese leaders since.”

“The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed Director Kim of its official position, which was that ’This is not the right time to discuss top leadership visiting China,’” the source relayed. “Director Kim expressed his disappointment at the treatment, and returned home without meeting anyone, including Wang Jiarui (the director of the Chinese Communist Party International Liaison Department).”

If accurate, the story appears to buttress claims that China has become considerably less accommodating toward the activities of its neighbor in recent times. Although the South Korean government informed Daily NK today that it couldn’t confirm the information, it is lent credence by appearing to fit into a wider framework of other recent stories about the state of China-North Korea relations.

These include claims that China is now actively enforcing at least some of the sanctions against North Korea specified by the international community.

If the story is confirmed, Lee Tae Hwan, the director of China research at the Seoul-based Sejong Institute commented, “It shows that Kim needed to have gone there with a promise not to do any more nuclear tests or missile launches, but that someone of Kim’s level could not do that. The Chinese were not going to accept the North Korean suggestion without them changing something.”
 
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2014.03.24
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