Kim didn’t trust China in 2009, says WikiLeaks

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Kim didn’t trust China in 2009, says WikiLeaks

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il expressed distrust of China during a meeting with the head of a South Korean conglomerate visiting Pyongyang in August 2009, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable disclosed by WikiLeaks yesterday.

Hyun Jeong-eun, chairwoman of Hyundai Group, the operator of a suspended interborder tourism project at Mount Kumgang in North Korea, returned from the North on Aug. 17, 2009, after a meeting with Kim. Hyun then met Kathleen Stephens, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, for breakfast in Seoul on Aug. 25, and Stevens reported the conversation in a cable to Washington.

According to the cable, Kim told Hyun that the North was “not trusting China.” After the North’s second nuclear test in May 2009, China did not object to the UN Security Council’s resolution condemning the communist country for the test. China’s foreign ministry also issued a statement expressing opposition to the test.

Hyun also quoted Kim as saying that relations with Japan were bad and that neither Pyongyang nor Tokyo intended to make a diplomatic move to improve them. In addition, Hyun cited an unnamed, high-ranking North Korean official she met in the North saying that Kim banned Japanese cars from Pyongyang streets.


By E Choong-hyoung [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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