North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Il Visits and Departs Beijing

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the National Defense Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), during their talks in Beijing, capital of China, May 25, 2011. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

Kim Cho’ng-il met with PRC President, Hu Jintao, during a brief stop in Beijing which also included a factory tour.  During his meeting with Hu, Kim Cho’ng-il advocated for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks in Chinese central media’s first official acknowledgement of his trip.  Xinhua reports:

Kim, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the National Defense Commission of the DPRK, made the remarks during talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing.

Kim paid an unofficial visit to China from May 20 to 26 as guest of Hu, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Hu said China spoke positively of DPRK’s efforts to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and improve external environment.

China maintains that related parties should continuously hold high the banner of safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and denuclearization, remain clam and restrained, show flexibility, remove obstacles, improve relations and make positive efforts to ultimately accomplish peace, stability and development on the peninsula, Hu said.

Kim said the DPRK is now concentrating its attention and resources on economic development, and it is in great need of a stable neighboring environment.

Kim said the DPRK hopes to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, sticks to the objective of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and believes that the six-party talks should be resumed at an early date.

Kim said the DPRK, as always, sincerely hopes relations between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea (ROK) could be improved.

A company in Beijing's Zhongguancun technology zone, which was visited by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on May 26. (Yonhap)

Xinhua reported about Kim Cho’ng-il’s meeting with Hu:

Hu extended warm welcome to Kim on behalf of the CPC, the Chinese government and the Chinese people, saying the visit fully reflects the great attention Kim and the WPK Central Committee paid to consolidating and developing China-DPRK traditional friendship and will definitely bring bilateral relationship to a higher level.

With great attention to the DPRK-China ties, Kim has paid three visits to China since May of last year and repeatedly stressed that the younger generation should pass on the DPRK-China friendship, Hu said.

Hu spoke highly of the new progress in China-DPRK relations, saying the two sides have frequently exchanged high-level visits, deepened trade and economic cooperation, sought active people-to-people exchanges, maintained close communication and coordination on Korean Peninsular situation and other major issues, and jointly safeguarded peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Hu stressed the CPC and the Chinese government have always dealt with China-DPRK ties from a strategic and long-term perspective.

The Chinese side has firmly adhered to the spirit of carrying forward tradition, embracing the future, maintaining good-neighborly friendship and strengthening cooperation, and unswervingly observed the principle of consolidating and developing China-DPRK relations, Hu said.

Hu said China will work with the DPRK to boost the continuous growth of bilateral friendly and cooperative relationship and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity. Hu made five proposals on bilateral ties:

— Step up high-level visits and deepen China-DPRK friendship. He welcomed DPRK leaders to visit China.

— Make more efforts to share experiences on party building and state governance and promote economic and social development.

— Improve mutually beneficial cooperation to benefit the two peoples.

— Deepen exchanges in culture, education and sports, particularly the exchanges among young people, to pass on China-DPRK friendship from generation to generation.

— Increase communication and maintain coordination on international and regional situations as well as crucial issues, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.

Kim expressed appreciation for Hu’s warm invitation and hospitality, saying that he fully agreed with Hu’s proposals on developing relations between the two parties and countries.

He hailed the precious friendship between the two peoples, saying it is a great historic mission for both countries to pass on friendship from generation to generation.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the DPRK-China Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. The treaty is significant as it is an important heritage of leaders of the old generations of the two countries, Kim said.

Kim pledged to inherit the traditions of leaders of the old generations and make joint efforts with China to promote the stronger growth of DPRK-China friendship.

Kim invited Hu to visit the DPRK, which Hu accepted with pleasure.

During Kim’s stay in Beijing, Hu also hosted a welcoming banquet in honor of Kim.

Wen Jiabao, member of the Political Bureau Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee and Chinese premier, also met with Kim in Beijing.

Members of the Political Bureau Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang also met with Kim or accompanied him in various activities during his week-long China tour.

A tent blocks the entrance to the building of an IT firm that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visited in Beijing on May 26. (Yonhap)

Yonhap reports about Kim Cho’ng-il’s departure from Beijing:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il departed from Beijing on Thursday, the seventh day of his secretive trip, after holding talks Wednesday with Chinese President Hu Jintao on expanding bilateral economic and political relations.

Kim’s special train left Beijing Station at around 2:19 p.m. (local time) and headed north apparently towards China’s northeastern region bordering North Korea.

The direction of Kim’s train ride indicates he was on his way back home via Shenyang and Dandong, though the possibility of the leader stopping over at an unexpected location cannot be ruled out.

An affiliate of 38 North