A Soupçon of Anger: KCNA-China File No. 23

By | May 19, 2013 | No Comments

A little bilateral discord, fixed over Moranbong chords | image via PRC Embassy in the DPRK

A little bilateral discord, alleviated over Moranbong chords: Kim Jong-un meets Ambassador Liu Hongcai. | Photo courtesy PRC Embassy in the DPRK, January 1, 2013

China and North Korea are often at their most artful in trying times, usually while attempting to finesse a mixture of rhetorical bilateral anger, modest physical measures against one another, and continued mutual interaction. Formidable examples of this uncommon skill set at work could be seen throughout the period December 13, 2012-February 16, 2013, a time frame analyzed here in the latest KCNA-China File by Adam Cathcart and Evan Koepfler. — Christopher Green, Co-editor

A Soupçon of Anger: KCNA-China File No. 23, December 13, 2012-February 16, 2013

by Adam Cathcart and Evan Koepfler

KCNA File No. 23, December 13, 2012-February 16, 2013 [FULL TEXT, 36 pages]

In a period of extreme bilateral stress, the North Korean media resorted to indirect but clear critiques of China’s attitude toward the satellite launch, the third nuclear test, and China’s nominal support for United Nations sanctions against the DPRK. The files presented here are complementary to the more open critiques of China, and indicate how the North Korean media sought to retain commonalities with China and not fundamentally disrupt the relationship.

The fact that the DPRK reported on the signing of a January 9, 2013, agreement regarding “construction of the office buildings of the management committee” of Rason and Hwanggumpyong, respectively, is a sign that the tensions did not bring the relationship to an utter halt, but it was small solace to leaders in Beijing who might have hoped that the DPRK was moving in a more reformist direction since Jang Song-taek’s visit to Beijing in August 2012.

Ambassador Liu Hongcai, on the high wire up Mansudae Hill | Chosun Central TV screen capture

Ambassador Liu Hongcai finally emerges on the highwire up Mansudae Hill on April 15, 2013. | image: Chosun Central TV screen capture

KCNA File No. 23, December 13, 2012-February 16, 2013 [FULL TEXT]

Sino-NK’s previous KCNA-China files can be accessed here.

Sino-NK’s four previous China-North Korea document dossiers can be accessed here.

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