North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Another Straw in the Wind of a KJI China Trip

President Hu Jintao meet with Kim Yong Il, director of the International Affairs Department of the WPK Central Committee in the Great Hall of the People on Feb 23, 2010.(Xinhua)

February is winding down without Kim Jong-il having visited China.  However, Korea Times citing MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation) reports that KJI may travel there in March.  KT cites the presence this week of KWP International Department Director Kim Yong-il and his ten person-strong delegation in Beijing and Tianjin (the DPRK delegation also visited Shanghai):

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is likely to go to China next month, as a group of Pyongyang officials are currently visiting Tianjin in an apparent move to prepare for his visit to the city, reports said Friday.

Kim Yong-il, director of the North Korean Workers’ Party’s international department, heads the group that includes economic bureaucrats.

Kim’s delegation arrived in China earlier this week, following a visit by his Chinese counterpart Wang Jiarui to Pyongyang earlier this month.

According to MBC, he visited the city Wednesday, along with a group of 10 Pyongyang officials.

Kim Yong-il is the 6th significant North Korean official to travel to China in the last past four months.  In November, Senior Deputy Director of the MPAF General Political Bureau and NDC Member Ge. Kim Jong-gak led a KPA delegation to Beijing and Jilin.  At the end of November, Senior Deputy Director of the State Security Department and NDC Member Col. Gen. U Tong-chuk also traveled to China.  In December, Minister of Public Security and NDC Member Gen. Ju Sang-song visited Beijing with an MPS delegation.  Two weeks ago, MOFA Vice Minister Kim Kye-gwan and MOFA American Bureau Director Ri Gun traveled there.

Whether or not General-Secretary Kim heads to China, Kim Yong-il’s trip was fruitful in one respect; Choson Ilbo reports that construction on a bridge between Sinuiju, North Pyongyan and Dandong, Liaoning Province, PRC, will begin in October.

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This article was written on 27 Feb 2010, and is filled under DPRK External Relations, DPRK-China Relations, International Department, Kim Jong-il, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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