Updated KCNA-China File
Here is the most updated version of the KCNA coverage of Sino-North Korean interactions in the period after Kim Jong Il’s death: KCNA File No 1 – December 19-26, 2011.
Some further analysis of the data is forthcoming, but the following trends seem evident in the materials:
– The families of revolutionaries connected to Kim Il Song figured most prominently in the KCNA coverage of Chinese grief over Kim Jong Il’s death, very likely in an attempt to show that the ties extend generationally between China and the DPRK, but also in order to place North Korea again in the patriarchal position.
– There is something going on with the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang. Ambassador Liu Hongcai publicized his own trips to mourn on December 20 and 21, and reportedly was the one foreign ambassador inivted to Kim Jong Il’s funeral, but KCNA only covered the first of the mourning visits and that was it. Strangely, the PRC Consulate in the northeastern city of Chongjin got more mentions (2) than the Embassy in Pyongyang (1). (The editor of this site published an essay on DailyNK earlier that describes tensions between the Embassy and Pyongyang arising out of an automobile accident that killed 7 Chinese tourist on November 26.) Incidentally, the Chinese Embassy in North Korea has not updated its website since December 24, and it’s not because everyone is on Christmas Break.
– Particularly in the dispatches from December 26, North Korean media about Chinese mourners often included prominent Chinese and Chinese-Korean capitalists. Surely this gives the Chinese government some hope, looking as it is for any sign that North Korea is ready to continue and expand business ties with the PRC.
– Dai Bingguo seems to be a favorite CCP official in North Korea. The fact that he almost cried a couple of times when talking about Kim Jong Il’s death seems to suggest to the North Koreans that he really “gets” them.