Kim Jong-un may travel solo to China: Source
“It looks as though Kim Jong-un will visit China alone,” said the source. “Intelligence suggests the visit might take place right after the Lunar New Year holiday, at the earliest.”
According to the source, preparations for the visit have been completed by the North Koreans, though there is no visible evidence like a beefing up of security around Jong-un. He accompanied Kim Jong-il on a sudden, unexpected trip to China last August.
“If Kim Jong-un does visit China, there is a likely chance that the trip will be kept under wraps,” the source said. “The [South Korean] government is focusing on his movements.”
The source said that Jong-un and his powerful uncle, Jang Song-thaek, were conspicuously absent from Kim Jong-il’s recent “field guidance trips,” which may have been because they were preparing for the China trip.
Jong-un was reported to have accompanied Kim on a field trip on Jan. 15, 21 days after his last reported appearance on Dec. 25. Jang Song-thaek, his uncle and Kim Jong-il’s No. 2 man, was reported as accompanying the Dear Leader on a Jan. 23 field trip. Jang’s last appearance was on New Year’s Eve.
If Jong-un makes the China trip, it will recall Kim Jong-il’s first solo visit to China in 1983 after he was named successor to his father Kim Il Sung in 1974.
South Korean analysts assume the visit will be for Jong-un to get acquainted with high-ranking Chinese officials, and vice versa, rather than for full-blown discussions on issues between China and North Korea.
During Kim Jong-il’s visit in June 1983, he met with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping along with other members of China’s leadership.
Kim Jong-un could be received by Chinese President Hu Jintao and his presumed successor Xi Jinping, said the government source.
North Korea kept a close record of Kim Jong-il’s visit in 1983, and a two-hour long documentary about the trip was aired nearly 30 times last year.
By Jeong Yong-soo [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Related Korean Article [중앙일보]
김정은, 이번엔 혼자 중국 가나
정부 당국자 “설 연휴 직후 단독 방중” … 외교가 촉각
김정은 북한 노동당 중앙군사위원회 부위원장이 설 연휴 직후 중국을 단독 방문할 것이라는 정보가 입수됐다. 정부 당국자(외교안보)는 25일 이 같은 정보를 확인하면서 “아직까지 그의 방중과 관련된 경호 강화 움직임은 없지만 북·중 간에 방중 협의가 끝난 것으로 안다”고 말했다. 그는 “김정은의 방중이 이뤄질 경우 1983년 김정일의 첫 단독 방중과 마찬가지로 비밀리에 전격적으로 이뤄질 가능성이 크다”며 “당국도 그의 움직임을 주목하고 있다”고 덧붙였다.
지난해 9월 김정일 국방위원장 후계자로 공식 등장한 김정은의 단독 방중 추진은 그가 대외활동으로 보폭을 넓히는 것으로서 후계 승계가 빠르게 진행되고 있음을 의미한다.
김정일은 80년 김일성 주석 후계자로 공식 등장한 지 3년 만인 83년 중국을 방문해 최고지도자 덩샤오핑(鄧小平·등소평), 후야오방(胡耀邦·호요방) 공산당 총서기, 자오쯔양(趙紫陽·조자양) 총리 등 지도자들을 차례로 만났다. 국빈급 대우를 받았다. …
More in Politics
Former four-term DP lawmaker named as ambassador to Japan
Two women emerge as frontrunners in Seoul mayor race
In virtual summits, Moon stresses need for global travel
Moon discusses Korea's Covid fight with APEC leaders