Did Kim Jong Un’s uncle prepare his first state visit to China?

[The following two news items strike us as being related. First a high-level visit to China by the assumed power behind the throne, Kim Jong Un’s uncle Jang Song Thaek. The first article is by Didi Tang for The Associated Press, published 17 August 2012. The second is the widely expected but unconfirmed request for the first external state visit and first official visit to China by Kim Jong Un, in his capacity as DPRK leader. The Reuters article appeared in guardian.co.uk on 24 August 2012. –CanKor]

Wen Jiabao, right, meets Jang Song-thaek, uncle of North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-un, on Aug. 17. (Photo/Xinhua)

Senior North Korean holds talks with China’s leaders in sign allies’ relations back on track

Associated Press, BEIJING, China – The powerful uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met both China’s president and premier on Friday in a sign that relations between the two countries are back on track after Kim irked Beijing with a rocket launch soon after taking power.

State media have said the six-day visit to China by Jang Song Thaek, the chief of the central administrative department of the Workers’ Party of Korea, is a possible prelude to a visit by Kim himself. China remains North Korea’s most important ally.

The top-level meetings came after Beijing earlier this week agreed to help Pyongyang revamp two trade zones near the Chinese border. Read the rest of this entry »

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