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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid