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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid