News / Asia

China Hopes for Stability After N. Korea Execution

North Korean subway commuters gather around a public newspaper stand on the train platform in Pyongyang, North Korea, Dec. 13, 2013 to read the headlines about Jang Song Thaek, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's uncle who was executed.
North Korean subway commuters gather around a public newspaper stand on the train platform in Pyongyang, North Korea, Dec. 13, 2013 to read the headlines about Jang Song Thaek, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's uncle who was executed.
Shannon Van Sant
Chinese officials have declined to say if they have been in contact with Pyongyang about the execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle.

At China's foreign ministry briefing Friday, authorities described the reported execution of Jang Song Thaek as North Korea's “internal affairs.”

Spokesman Hong Lei says as North Korea's neighbor, Beijing hopes to see stability and people living in happiness.

The execution sent shockwaves through the North Korean elite and has the potential to upset the regime’s relations with its next door neighbor and historical ally, China.

Before his abrupt fall from power, Jang played a key role in North Korea's economy, overseeing the special economic zones where foreign companies use North Korean workers in their factories.
 
The sharply worded article in North Korea's state media that accused him of treason also said he personally profited from deals with outside countries in the Rason special economic zone. It also accused him of being bribed by enemies.

Strained ties

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman commented on the announcement by saying the two countries economic ties are mutually beneficial and China hopes to deepen their business relations going forward.

Bilateral ties have been strained since North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test last spring. But the country remains Pyongyang's most important ally, and economic links between the two remain critical for the impoverished North Korean government.
 
Daniel Pinkston, deputy director for Northeast Asia at the International Crisis Group, says there is data showing China has acquired resources in North Korea at below market value.
 
Speaking to VOA via Skype, he says the execution of Jang Song Thaek will likely throw North Korea’s business deals with China, and other countries, into disarray.
 
“The next person to come into run these operations that Jang had been running, I think will be under orders to renegotiate the contracts and renegotiate the prices, but of course the Chinese businessmen on the other side will want to fulfill the contracts they’ve already signed, so this will, so this will damage the poor reputation that North Korea already has, and it will have a negative impact on their ability to conduct international business,” said Pinkston.
 
China has long provided an economic aid to North Korea as well as much of the country’s food aid.  Exports from China to North Korea totaled $590 million last year.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More