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`N. Korea`s execution of Jang is an act disregarding Beijing’

`N. Korea`s execution of Jang is an act disregarding Beijing’

Posted December. 21, 2013 00:02,   


China’s leadership reportedly recognizes that North Korea’s execution of Jang Song Thaek, who was considered a pro-Chinese leader, without consulting with Beijing as “an act disregarding China and challenge against it.” Watchers say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s visit to China, which Pyongyang has been strongly demanding, will unlikely happen for a considerable period of time.

○ ‘China has anger and sense of betrayal against North Korea’

A senior Chinese official expressed discontent, saying, “Highly immature Kim Jong Un purged Jang Song Thaek, a pro-Chinese leader, without having any consultations with China,” said a ranking official of South Korea who recently contacted Beijing. According to the official, the Chinese official also said, “The late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il handled major issues by sympathizing with Beijing,” adding decisively, “(Jang’s execution that neglected such process) constitutes disregarding of and challenge against China.” The Chinese official also predicted “Summons of Ji Jae Ryong (North Korean Ambassador to China) will likely be inevitable as well,” adding, “In this case, Kim Jong Un will find it more difficult to visit China.”

According to South Korean officials who have been interacting with China’s leadership, the Chinese government widely perceives Kim Jong Un as a “leader who is out of control and recklessly acts at his own discretion.” After witnessing Jang’s execution, Chinese leaders reportedly expressed worries, saying, "As Kim Jong Un constantly seeks scapegoats for his reign of terror to consolidate the one-man rule system, an unexpected situation could occur.” A senior South Korean official said, “China seems to remain cool-minded on the surface, but internally it seems to have a sense of anger and betrayal against Kim Jong Un.”

Notably, China worries that Kim Jong Un could push for a fourth nuclear test after the execution of Jang, who was opposed to nuclear tests. A ranking Chinese official said, “If the North insists on a nuclear test, China will have its image as a superpower tarnished,” in reiterating Beijing’s opposition to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons development.

Experts say that China’s distrust in Kim Jong Un has been accumulating over the past two years since Kim Jong Il’s death. When his father Kim Jong Il died in December 2011, Kim Jong Un received 200,000 tons of emergency food aid from China, but failed to express any gratitude. Sources say that officials with Chinese authorities were hugely disappointed and surprised at the North’s negligence.

○ Mounting discontent against the North only seeking financial benefits

A slew of Chinese entrepreneurs who have suffered damage in North Korea in succession are also adding to inconvenience of the Chinese leadership as well.

According to diplomatic sources, Chinese company “A” signed an iron ore deal with a North Korean trading company through the North Korean embassy in China as broker in May, and paid 500,000 yuan (80,000 U.S. dollars) as down payment, but has yet to receive shipment. In July, the Chinese authority was notified that Chinese trading company “B” was taking legal action because it could not get 600,000-dollar payment for freight.

“Security agents with the North’s state security department and the people’s safety department demand Chinese merchants kickbacks at the pretext of issuing trade licenses and invitations,” said a Chinese businessman who recently visited the Rason district in the North. “They oftentimes rip off through various measures, including levying of fines, and some people are liquidating their business because they cannot stand such practice.”

“We are having hard time getting shipments or recouping funds these days,” said a Chinese official who has been dealing in with the North. “With people close to Jang Song Thaek purged en masse, we will have to halt shipment of coal from the North,” breathing a sigh of despair.