According to a high level North Korean source on August 1st, North Korea was unable to acquire the economic support it sought during Kim Jong-il's May 20th~26th visit to China, but came away with crucial reaffirmation of its relationship as a strategic partner, the most crucial political benefit for North Korea.
The source, in explaining that Kim Jong-il and Hu Jin-tao affirmed their commitment in a statement, spoke specifically of their relationship as strategic cooperative partners. "Strategic cooperation means that the two countries will keep to the principal of developing their relationship through successive generations, weighing it more importantly than any other political, economic, military, or cultural interests."
"Hu Jin-tao signalled his assent to Kim Jong-il's wish for recognition as a nuclear power from the US and North Korea's return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty," the source went on, describing Pyongyang's strategic goal in rejoining six party talks about its nuclear weapons program. China is in possession of the most specific information about the current stage of North Korea's nuclear weapons development.
Hu Jin-tao suggested that North Korea unconditionally restart talks with the South in a drive toward peace on the peninsula and conveyed the message that they would cooperate to realize that idea. The source said that Kim Jong-il agreed to China's suggestion that the six party talks should be restarted on a solid foundation of North-South and North Korea-US talks. Kim Jong-il conveyed to China, said the source, that he "is considering summit talks with the South concerning the recognition of the North as a nuclear weapons state, and sees it as the turning point at which North Korea will establish the decisive upper hand in the relationship between the two countries." China indicated its support for Kim Jong-il's view.
For this reason Kim Jong-il and Hu Jin-tao both used the expression "strategic consultation" in the conference hall afterwards to describe their talks. "In particular," specified Kim Jong-il, "our two parties and nations are getting ever closer in 'strategic consultation'." Hu Jin-tao elucidated on the partnership status of North Korea and China's strategic cooperation when he said, "This visit is deepening the practical accord and strengthening 'strategic consultation' between the two countries, perfectly illustrating the importance attached to the solid development of China-DPRK relations."
North Korea and China are the last remaining communist led dictatorships and that the two countries’ party representatives use the same phrases in their official foreign affairs statements is a significant objective sign that they are presenting the same new slightly changed characterization of their relationship. However, it was the source's view that this reorientation of North Korea-China relationship was still a step down from the previous blood-alliance. According to the source, whether China's previous treaty of friendship (the foundation of their blood-alliance) of automatic intervention on the North's behalf should North Korea ever come under military attack will be maintained or not, requires fresh objective analysis.
Seoul Station Theoville, 62-7 Mallidong1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, 100-371, Korea
Body Corporate North Korea Strategy Information Service(NKSIS)
Publisher: Yun-keol, Lee Editor: Jun-woon, Lee
Tel: 02-585-9149, Fax: 02-586-9149, E-mail: email@example.com
Copyright ⓒ 2011 North Korea Strategy Information Service(NKSIS). nksis.com. All rights reserved
Reproduction, copying, or redistribution of the materials on NKSIS are strictly prohibited. Any unauthorized use constitutes a willful copyright infringement subject to punishment.