News / Asia

Report: North Korean Official Made Secret Trips to China

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying expressed the familiar Chinese line that human rights issues are China’s internal affairs and other nations should not meddle, Oct. 22, 2013.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying expressed the familiar Chinese line that human rights issues are China’s internal affairs and other nations should not meddle, Oct. 22, 2013.
Shannon Van Sant
South Korean media are reporting a senior North Korean economic official has secretly visited China to attract investment.  Beijing has neither confirmed nor denied the report, but has said maintaining strong ties is important to both nations.

Reports say North Korea has re-instated two officials in charge of trade and economic ties with China, in a sign the regime may try to repair its economic relations with its powerful neighbor. 

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said she had not seen the news reports, but as close neighbors, Beijing believes cooperative relations between China and North Korea are of importance to the whole region as well as to both countries. 

South Korean media also credited diplomatic sources in Beijing with reports that one of the officials paid a secret visit to China last week to attract investment.  Kim Ki-sok, chairman of the State Commission for Economic Development, reportedly visited Shenzhen, Singapore and Malaysia. 

Such a visit, which normally would not be officially publicized, would be the first to China by a high-ranking North Korean official since the execution of Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song-taek. 

Jang Song-taek's legacy

Jang pushed for economic reform in North Korea and spearheaded many Chinese-led investment projects in the country.  After his execution, Wang Dong, a professor at Peking University, says many Chinese businessmen worried about their continued investment in North Korea, but now believe North Korea wants investment projects with China to continue.   

“Most analysts agree that that was a power struggle.  It was not a struggle between different ideologies, pro-reform... anti-reform.  That was not the case.  So the purge of Jang Song-taek does not mean the end of so-called reform policy,” said Wang Dong.
 
Trade between China and North Korea has boomed in recent years, with North Korea shipping resources to China in exchange for food supplies, arms and investment.  In a series of recent case studies by Johns Hopkins University of Chinese firms doing business in North Korea, investors complained of bribes, poor infrastructure and unnecessary security measures. 

Earlier this month U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Beijing and asked for help in pressuring North Korea to give up its nuclear program. 

Investment between the two longtime allies could remain strong though; China is planning a high speed rail line to North Korea to open by 2015.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
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.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


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