Chinese delegation in Pyongyang (to watch over Kim-Putin axis)
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Guozhong will visit North Korea for celebrations scheduled for tomorrow. The Kim regime's third military parade of the year is planned. North Korean leader wants to strengthen alliance with Beijing and Moscow. A meeting with the Russian president to discuss food and weapons is coming up. It would be the dictator's first foreign visit since the start of the pandemic.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - A delegation from the Chinese government, led by Deputy Prime Minister Liu Guozhong, will go on an official visit to Pyongyang to participate in the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the founding of North Korea.
The confirmation comes from the official KCNA agency, a few days after the emergence of insistent - and well-informed - rumors according to which a meeting between the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the Russian president Vladimir Putin is scheduled. At the center of the talks would be the issue of arms sales, necessary for Moscow to feed an arsenal that is gradually drying up due to the war in Ukraine.
According to reports from the leaders of Pyongyang, the visit takes place at the invitation of the Workers' Party of Korea, the dominant faction under the Kim regime. The founding anniversary is usually marked by a massive military parade, showcasing the latest advances in weaponry including state-of-the-art ballistic missiles. At the moment it is not yet known whether the Chinese delegation will meet the North Korean leader and which events he will attend.
The celebration of the Founding Day of the Republic is scheduled for tomorrow, September 9, the date on which marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean peninsula from Japanese occupation.
Recently, with the Rising Sun, new elements of tension have emerged following Tokyo's decision to release the radioactive water treated by the Fukushima atomic power plant, scene of the 2011 nuclear accident. The affair has caused controversies and protests both from Chinese side, and from the Korean side (north and south, in this case united).
Kim is also keen to strengthen the alliance with China and Russia to make a diplomatic breakthrough and break the wall of isolation. Meanwhile, according to US reports, the North Korean leader will soon travel to Russia to discuss arms sales.
The regime's official media did not mention this visit, and Russia also did not respond to media queries. US officials have re-launched news of an upcoming visit, which would mark Kim Jong-un's first overseas trip since the COVID-19 pandemic began in January 2020.
Seoul intelligence officials believe Russia and North Korea could organize a surprise route for Kim's visit to avoid media coverage. In exchange for supplying Moscow with artillery and other armaments, which are rapidly running out in Ukraine, Kim will in all likelihood ask the Kremlin for food, given the food crisis and famine the country has been suffering from for some time.
Only last month, South Korean intelligence said that the problems in terms of food supply in the Kim regime are getting worse and the number of deaths between last January and July has doubled, compared to data from the same period as the previous five years. Studies also show that the country is grappling with the worst malnutrition since the great famine of the 1990s.
On the international front, Kim has publicly supported Russia's war on Ukraine. Furthermore, North Korea may request advanced military technologies from Moscow that could contribute to nuclear weapons projects. Reports say Kim could meet Putin in a city in Russia's Far East, most notably Vladivostok, where Putin himself is expected to attend an economic forum next week.
Li Hongzhong, a leading Politburo member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attended a massive military parade in the capital Pyongyang in July.
The North Korean army demonstrated intercontinental ballistic missiles designed to strike even in US territory. Hence the new sanctions from the United Nations Security Council, which punished the regime for having developed intercontinental ballistic missiles in open defiance of the bans and diverting economic resources to weapons, rather than to trying to feed a starving population.