KCNA Sings China’s Praises: KCNA File No. 21

By | August 17, 2012 | No Comments

Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, flanked by Wang Jiarui and PRC Ambassador Liu Hongcai, August 3, 2012. Coverage of the visit, Kim Jong Un’s first high-level diplomatic interaction since taking power, was sparse in North Korean media, which was thrumming instead on the theme of “Kim Jong Il Patriotism.” | Rodong Sinmun, August 3, 2012

Evan Koepfler, as always, reads KCNA’s coverage of China so you don’t have to.  It’s interesting to dissect KCNA coverage in hindsight to try to make out patterns, algorithms and practice other such tea-leaf reading skills. We see a flurry of activity at the start of this period preceding and coinciding with Wang Jiarui’s visit to DPRK.  Understandably, much of the coverage deals with that visit- the first for Kim Jong Un as head of state.   But KCNA coverage goes beyond that, reminding everyone  how strong and multi-faceted the relationship is between China and the DPRK. Chinese leaders and commentators are sometimes peeved and angered at what they perceive as DPRK slights to Chinese contributions during the Korean War.  KCNA heaps a fair amount of praise on Chinese contributions to the Fatherland Liberation War, but this time, the Chinese media called the praises too “cheap and easy.”

To provide a little more timeline context for the following database:  The DPRK Security Chief had recently visited China; the head of China’s International Liaison Department (which handles Sino-DPRK relations at the all important party-party level) is visiting;  many scholars are openly speculating Kim Jong Un will soon visit China.  The increased China coverage continues for what looks like an imminent high-level visit from DPRK to China.

Suddenly all KCNA China coverage stops.  The stoppage is consistent with an assessment that KCNA has done its job of setting a receptive stage and ensuring they don’t steal the spotlight away from the visit.  Almost a week later,  Jang Song Taek travels to China with delegation of 50 or so.  Yes: high level visit.  No: Kim Jong Un not going to China. Yet.  See what other patterns you might discern  –– Roger Cavazos, Coordinator

KCNA Sings China’s Praises : KCNA File No. 21

by Evan Koepfler

KCNA File No 21 – July 27 – August 7, 2012