DPRK claims Chinese endorsement of succession plan

Meng Jianzhu, state councilor of the People’s Republic of China and minister of public security, is visiting the DPRK.  According to North Korea’s official news outlet, KCNA:

Meng warmly congratulated Kim Jong Il upon his reelection as general secretary of the WPK and Kim Jong Un upon his election as vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the WPK at the historic Conference of the WPK, hailing the successful solution of the issue of succession to the Korean revolution.

This is interesting for two reasons.

Reason number 1: As far as I am aware this is as close as KCNA has come to identifying Kim Jong-un (김정은) as the explicit successor of Kim Il-sung’s revolution.  Though the signals over the last few months strongly suggested KJU’s trajectory in that direction, I am not aware of any NK media reports saying specifically “KJU is the chosen successor”. Maybe after several months of shakeups and signaling, Pyongyang’s power-brokers have gotten all their ducks in a row–so making an explicit succession statement at this point will not be domestically controversial or arouse serious disloyal intentions.

Reason number 2: According to Yonhap, Xinhua did not report China’s endorsement of the DPRK’s succession plan to the Chinese people. You can read Xinhua’s report here.  Yonhap also reported that later in the day Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu declined to comment on the issue.

UPDATE 1: China’s Global Times DID report on China’s endorsement of the DPRK’s succession–in English.  I am still trying to find out if they have done so in Chinese.

UPDATE 2: Russia’s ITAR-TASS reports that the DPRK and China also signed a security agreement.


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