China’s online news source, Xinhua, revealed yesterday that North Korea’s Minister of People’s Security, Ri Myong Su, met with the Party Secretary of Jiangsu Province, Luo Zhijun, to discuss issues of ongoing concern between the two countries during the North Korean Minister’s visit to Jiangsu.
Secretary Luo said at the meeting, “China and North Korea have developed a friendship throughout multiple generations of leaders and the joint efforts between the two countries’ people and government.” He added, “Both Premier Kim Il Sung and General Secretary Kim Jong Il visited Jiangsu Province twice during their lifetimes creating many beautiful memories.”
Luo added, “I believe that through the leadership of Kim Jong Eun and the Workers Party, North Korea will continue their journey of building their nation.” The Secretary continued, “Jiangsu Province will continue to contribute to the development of North Korea and China’s friendly relations.”
Minister Ri responded, “I can sense China’s friendship and warmth towards the North Korean people,” recalling both Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il’s past visits.
On July 24th, the first day of his visit, Minister Ri met with Zhou Yongkang, the 9th ranked member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee with Meng Jianzhu, Minister of the Public Security of the PRC, also in attendance. Both countries’ representatives relayed messages of greeting from their leaders, Kim Jong Eun and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Observers say that Ri’s visit to Jiangsu Province is a test preceding Kim Jong Eun’s future visits to China. Ri, who is in charge of maintaining public order in North Korea, had meetings with the Head of the National Defense Committee and a central member of the Poliburo, suggesting that the visit was largely focused on issues of security.
In the event of a visit by Kim Jong Eun to China, Ri will take responsibility for his security as his escort, along with the National Security Defense Bureau.
Many are speculating as to when Kim Jong Eun will visit China. Some experts assert that now, however, would be an inopportune time for North Korea’s leader to visit his powerful ally due to China’s upcoming leadership transition in the fall.
Meanwhile, the KCNA reported that the delegates of Ri’s People’s Security Ministry returned back to North Korea on the 28th after their visit to China.