Tag Archives: Kim Jong Il

China’s Growing Impatience With North Korea

The script was meant to go like this: Beijing would back dynastic succession in Pyongyang in return for North Korea under Kim Jong Il’s son, Kim Jong Un, adopting gradual economic reforms along the Chinese model. That way, China’s erratic and impoverished neighbor would become a more stable political and economic ally, and the threat of millions of starving North Korean refugees flooding across the border into northeast China in the event of the collapse of the Pyongyang regime would be alleviated.

Unfortunately for Beijing, Kim Jong Un has lost the plot.

Relations between North Korea and its only friend in the world have hit rock bottom. Beijing is furious. Chinese state media have given unusual prominence to the Chinese fishermen who were seized in North Korea earlier this month and returned with tales of beatings and starvation at the hands of their captors. That was a rare public embarrassment of Pyongyang by Beijing, which for years has defied world opinion in repatriating North Korean refugees caught in China knowing that they and their families will receive similar harsh treatment once returned.

Beijing has other reasons for its displeasure. North Korea is not only not keeping it side of a bargain but it is also not showing the respect China believes it deserves for being its long-suffering political and economic lifeline. Pyongyang didn’t give Beijing advance warning about the deal it struck with Washington in February for American food aid in return for apparent concessions on missile and nuclear programs. It then brushed aside China’s objections to conducting a rocket test, objections made unusually publicly. Beijing even backed a resolution condemning the test in the UN security council, a forum in which it previously backed all sorts of North Korean nonsense. That the test failed so spectacularly–and stood in such sharp contrast to the success of China’s space program–was a cause of a great deal of quiet satisfaction in Beijing.

China has been getting increasingly irritated by its old ally for some time. Bilateral relations are, unusually with China’s foreign policy, handled on a party-to-party rather than a government-to-government basis. While there is historical logic to the practice, it is becoming increasingly anachronistic. China’s incoming generation of leaders were no more than babes in arms, if that, at the time of the Korean War. The Pyongyang regime, where second generation leadership prevails, aren’t comrades in arms. They are a deadweight dragging on China’s increasing global role and an erratic threat to regional security that complicates relations with the U.S., Japan and South Korea for no very great advantage.

Inexplicable and unpredictable provocation was Kim Jong Il’s way. Kim Jong Un may be trying to show himself to be his father’s son. He is likely egged on by generals who threatened by economic reform. Like all North Korea’s political elite, they have vested interests in the military-industrial complex. This includes the country’s international arms trading business and the companies to which North Korea’s 10-year economic development plan has been assigned for implementation. The military-industrial complex is pretty much the North Korean economy.

The poverty of the rest of the country concerns Beijing even more. Millions of starving North Koreans fleeing a failed state into northeast China constitutes the worst-case scenario. The current crackdown on illegal North Koreans in China and on the organizations who help them should be seen in this light.

Beijing’s long-term strategy is to draw North Korea into its economic orbit, with an assumption that a some point foreign policy will follow as the economics start to make cooperation rather than provocation North Korea’s underlying interest in dealing with its neighbors. They have evolved in the more than a half century since the Korean war in a way North Korea has not. China now sees South Korea and Japan as frenemies, potential free-trade partners as well as allies of the U.S. to be contained. Kim Jong Un, however, is still gambling that he can rely on China’s continuing support for as long as stability on the Korean peninsula is more important to Beijing than the collapse of his regime.

If he is testing the limits of Beijing’s support–as good a guess as any given how little is known about what actually goes on in the highest echelons of the Pyongyang regime–he is playing a dangerous game, albeit one learned from his father. Kim Jong Il, however, was adept at calibrating the risks. Kim Jong Un may be too inexperienced to do so.  He may particularly be miscalculating China’s opportunity cost from being seen to be beholden to Pyongyang: a diminution of its credibility as a regional or world power. Beijing still looks after its old friends, but not unconditionally. Beijing may have changed more than Kim Jong Il and the rest of the power elite in the Hermit Kingdom realize.

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Chinese Lessons For North Korea’s New Leadership Generation

One way to look at the leadership transition in North Korea, and the prospects it holds, is to put a Chinese generational template over it. China’s new leadership that will be taking over from next year comprise the fifth generation since Mao’s revolutionaries. In North Korea, Kim Jong Un represents only the third generation of leaders, and, because of his young age, its vanguard, perhaps even only the forward scout of the vanguard.

It is the second generation–Kim Jong Il’s generation–that rules North Korea. The Dear Leader was only 69 0r 70 when he died, so there is still wind in his contempories’ sails. They are what any Chinese would recognize as princelings, the privileged offspring of the original revolutionary leaders–and overwhelmingly the sons in North Korea’s case. Like their Chinese counterparts, while they will have factional interests, they have a much greater vested interest in maintaining the status quo on which their position, power and privilege depend. Any interest in economic or political reform is subordinate to that.

The second generation of North Korean leaders bear some similarities to China’s third generation of leaders in that they were all Soviet or Soviet bloc educated, but unlike China’s third generation, and their own fathers, they neither fought against the Japanese in the 1940s nor against the Americans and South Koreans in the early 1950s. Nonetheless the military holds greater sway over the civilian elite than it did in China. The National Defence Commission governs the country and the industrial-military complex is pretty much the economy.

Like celebrities who are famous for being famous, North Korea’s second generation ruling elite is primarily interested in maintaining its position as the ruling elite. The third generation that Kim Jong Un’s succession may usher in is an unknown quantity. Many of its members have been schooled in some part in Western Europe and the U.S. (Like Kim Jong Un they study abroad under assumed names and pass themselves off as the children of embassy staff.) Whether that gives them a different world view to their predecessors and whether, if it does, the elite Kim Il Sung University to which they return snuffs it out, is anybody’s guess.

They are too young–with one obvious exception–to have risen to positions of power in the military or the Workers Party of Korea yet. They may be the best long-term bet for changing the focus in North Korea from the poverty of socialist self-sufficiency to economic reform along Chinese lines, but this Bystander, at least, wouldn’t bet the bank on them to do more than ensure their own positions are secure. That may be the bargain that Beijing will have to strike to nudge its neighbor towards the economic development that China, and most everybody else, sees necessary for regional stability.

Nor, as far as we know, is there a North Korean equivalent of Deng Xiaoping waiting to make a political comeback and launch economic reform. When the Dear Leader  purged, like his father before him, he purged for the generations.

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China And North Korea In The Era Of Kim Jong Un

North Korea's Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Il, and his son and heir apparent, Kim Jong Un, attend a party event in Pyongyang, October 10, 2010Pyong

China has spent much of the past year or so doing what it can to ensure stability in the event of a leadership transition in North Korea. Now that moment has come, with the sudden announcement that Kim Jong Il’s late 20s-something youngest son, Kim Jong Un (second right in the North Korean state news agency picture above), has succeeded his father (first right) following what was said to be a fatal heart attack to the long ailing Dear Leader on Saturday.

The elder Kim, who had been in poor health since suffering a serious stroke in 2008, had also been preparing his dynastic succession. Last year, he designated Kim Jong Un as his successor and had him appointed to senior party and military positions. Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Kim Jong Il’s brother-in-law, Jang Song Thaek, had been grooming his nephew and will likely act as the still inexperienced and untested Kim Jong Un’s mentor. As vice-chairman of the National Defence Commission (NDC), though he came up through the Party, not military, and the most powerful man in the country not named Kim, Jang will continue to be the power behind the throne for now.

A decade earlier, the elder Kim had given the military via the NDC the leading role in domestic politics even as the family remained the godhead of the totalitarian power structure. If the military remains committed to this arrangement–and there is no indication at this early point that it isn’t–then stability should persist even as the political elite assess and adjusts to the new axis of power–and Kim Jong Un consolidates his position.

Where the cracks could open up–and where they cross one of Beijing’s core interests–is over economic reform. At Beijing’s prompting, Kim Jong Il had started to show some interest in reforming the bleak wasteland of the North Korean economy, though experiments with private markets and currency reform backfired. To what extent will the military be open to the economic development that the starving country needs? As with the PLA in China, while not all generals are ideological hardliners, like all North Korea’s political elite, they have vested interests in the military-industrial complex. This includes the country’s international arms trading business and the companies to which North Korea’s 10-year economic development plan has been assigned for implementation. Those could be challenged by any meaningful economic reforms. Unlike in China, there is not much of an economy outside the ruling elite’s sway where reform could be got underway, or to create alternative honeypots.

The bargain it is assumed Kim Jong Il struck with Beijing was that it would support an orderly dynastic succession in return for a move towards Chinese-style economic reform in North Korea and an expansion of trade, including mineral extraction and exports to China. Most immediately, Chinese firms have expanded their presence in the special economic zones on the North Korean side of the two countries’ border (run by companies controlled by the North Korean Party and military elite), and improving road links from Jilin.

Beijing also wants an end to the sort of provocative and potentially destabilizing international incidents that have studded North Korea’s relationships with South Korea, the U.S. and Japan. One sign of how the military wants to play North Korea’s relationship with China now will be how it handles the potential resumption of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program. U.S. officials had recently discussed an exchange of food aid for concessions on uranium enrichment. While Kim’s death will put all such talks on hold for now, whether China gets to take up the reins at the appropriate moment, will provide one indication of how the relationship stands.

At the same time, North Korea has become less useful to Beijing as a buffer state between it and South Korea, Japan and the U.S. China relationships with those countries have been transformed since the Korean War half a century ago. Nor does North Korea occupy the same position in the sentiments of younger Chinese officials as it does in those of older ones for whom the Korean War is not ancient history, and who see themselves having more in common with the progress South Koreans has made than with impoverished, starving North Korea. That is especially true of foreign ministry officials who, unusually, have to play second fiddle to the Party when it comes to North Korea policy.

Next year is the centenary of the birth of the Great Leader, Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung. That offers a potential buffer of stability. It also provides a deep well of dynastic heritage from which Kim Jong Un can draw legitimacy as he consolidates his new position, though Beijing would have hoped Kim the father would have lived long enough to do the drawing. Most countries would welcome stability until at least then. Beyond that it is in the interest of everyone, save perhaps for the North Korean military, that the country does change. Beijing, itself under new leadership from 2012, will use both carrot and stick to promote that, continuing to press for economic reform and access for its trading and mining companies, and making it clear that North Korea can’t expect any protection in the event of acts of international provocation.

China’s official message of condolence on Kim Jong Il’s death was a reflection of that, fraternal but measured. It may credibly be read as China treating Kim Jong Un’s North Korea as a normal neighbor, rather than a blood brother–if the Kim dynasty can ever be said to be normal. A North Korea with close economic ties to China is what Beijing sees as the best chance of creating a stable and restrained country that doesn’t inexplicable and unexpectedly provoke its neighbors. Myanmar is a model for the relationship, if a slightly less perfect one than before but still better and less scary than what it has now.

Footnote: The news portal NetEase has 59 evocative pictures spanning Kim Jong Il’s life.

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A Rare Sighting Of North Korea’s ‘First Lady’ In Nanjing

The visit of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il, though it hasn’t, as is customary, much troubled the attentions of state media, has excited social media. An employee at an LCD factory Kim visited on the outskirts of Nanjing this week uploaded a video that showed a woman believed to be Kim Ok accompanying the Dear Leader. In the screenshot above, she is the lady in the bright green jacket getting out of the back of the lead car from which Kim Jong Il had disembarked on the other side about 10 seconds earlier. (The full video can be viewd here.)

The 46-year old Kim  has been the 70-year old Kim’s personal secretary since the 1980s and is widely believed to have been his consort, perhaps now his wife, since the death of third wife, Ko Young Hee, in 2004. There are unsubstantiated rumors that Kim Ok has born the Dear Leader a son, who is now seven years old.

Kim Ok is thought in intelligence circles to have become a person of considerable power and influence within the regime, having overseen Kim’s recovery from his suspected stroke in 2008. She is said to be a backer of the succession of Kim Jong Il’s third son, Kim Jong Un, whose mother was Ko.

The two Kims are often spotted together, if not photographed, in North Korea, where she is known as ‘the First Lady’. The couple are rarely seen abroad, but then neither is the Dear Leader.  Intelligence sources in South Korea say she accompanied him on his 2006 visit to Beijing and also on his two visits last year, not surprising given her official role. The photograph on the right is taken from a U.S. government photograph of a meeting she attended at the Pentagon in Washington in 2000 and is about the only one of her ever published.

A decade on, the Nanjing video is a notable get on the part of the camera-phone paparazzi.

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Two Koreas But Three Chinas

Governments are usually no more homogeneous than the people they govern. They have their factions and their parties, their lobbies and agendas. Yet analysts, professional and journalistic, commonly use countries and their capitals as shorthand for national governments. Readers understand the convention and the inexactitude is insignificant on most occasions. In the case of the reports that China would accept a Seoul-led unified government on the Korean peninsula, based on the U.S. State Department cables leaked by WikiLeaks, the distinctions are highly significant.

The reports are based on the comments of South Korea’s former Vice-Foreign Minister Chun Yung-woo at a lunch with the U.S. ambassador to Seoul, Kathleen Stephens, that we noted earlier. Chun was summarizing conversations that he had had with officials in China’s foreign ministry (full cable). As we have noted before, the foreign ministry is the least influential of the three institutions that set China’s policies towards North Korea. Untypically and for obvious historical reasons, it is the Party’s department that deals with other Communist Parties abroad that is in the driving seat with the military in close attendance. The preeminence of the Party and the PLA inevitable gives an old school and nationalistic tinge to policy that is amplified by long-standing relationships to a regime that has ruled North Korea since the Korean War more than half a century ago.

China’s internal real politik is a reason that there were three riders attached to Chun’s assessment of the acceptability of a Seoul-led unified government to China, or at least to some of China’s foreign ministry officials; first that the government wouldn’t be hostile to Beijing; second that U.S. troops would remain south of the DMZ well away from China’s borders, and third that Chinese companies would be free to continue to trade and invest in what was North Korea (and that would probably include companies in which the PLA has interests as well as mining and fishing operations that another cable from the U.S. consulate in Shenyang suggested were seeing backhanders go to officials of both countries).

It has been the long-held position in Seoul that the South Korean government would become the unification government in the event of a political or economic collapse of the North, and that that would be acceptable to Beijing, whose own oft-stated if vague long-term goal is the peaceful reunification of the peninsular. Peaceful reunification may mean one thing in Beijing and another in Seoul, but, equally, Chun was talking his own party line.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il may be a “spoiled child”, as described by a foreign ministry official in another leaked cable, but he is the Party and the army’s spoiled child, in a way that he isn’t the foreign ministry’s. The party and the army are also less burdened than the foreign ministry by having to weigh the implications of foreign policy in one part of the world on that in another. The foreign ministry’s rising generation of officials are smart, worldly and patriotic. Their career trajectories are following the rise of a more internationally engaged and influential China. For them the need for a last redoubt to protect China’s northeastern border is just outdated. They are playing on a far larger stage than a 120,000 square kilometer vestige of the Korea War. But they are not the only Chinese actors with roles.

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Drawing Lines In The Yellow Sea

China gets the U.S. aircraft carrier off its shores that it previously managed to browbeat Washington to keep at bay. There is no more provocative symbol of naval power to Beijing. The Peoples’ Liberation Army is building a carrier but doesn’t have one in its fleet yet. The arrival of the USS George Washington and its battle fleet only serves to underline that.

The joint naval exercises that the U.S. and South Korea are conducting from Sunday in the Yellow Sea following North Korea’s deadly shelling of Yeonpyeong Island may spill over into the 200 mile exclusive economic zone that China claims in the Yellow Sea (and is asserting vigorously in the East China and South China Seas). The exercises will likely spill over the line that Pyongyang, if barely anyone else, recognizes as the maritime boundary in the Yellow Sea between the two Koreas. If they do, Pyongyang has promised a “sea of fire” in what it calls the West Sea of Korea. A display of U.S. naval prowess in retaliation would be the last thing Beijing would want to see at this point.

The military cartography is typically tortuous. Yeonpyeong and two other South Korean islands lie well to the North Korea side of the main part of Pyongyang’s demarcation line, though they lie in tiny enclaves that Pyongyang, bizarrely, recognizes as South Korean waters and which it connects with two narrow channels to undisputed South Korean waters. But the three islands lie on the South Korea side of the Northern Limit Line that the U.N. and most of the rest of the world recognizes as the maritime boundary between the two Koreas, and which is to the north of North Korea’s line. The disputed part of the Yellow Sea is plenty large enough for trouble, and gives Pyongyang a by-definition reason to say it is being attacked — and to fire back — if any foreign guns are fired in those waters, whether directed at it or not.

All of which will make policymakers in Beijing wonder even harder over the next few days if their long-standing unwavering support of the ever unpredictable Kim Jong Il’s regime is worth it. A tail can wag a dog only so often.

Their fear is not so much a flood of refugees should Kim’s dynastic regime collapse in chaos if Beijing withdrew its political and economic lifelines. It would be an inconvenience but a manageable humanitarian operation. Their bigger fear is of a pro-Washington government replacing Kim’s, either Seoul-led or under a U.N. mandate, and the possibility of the 25,000 U.S. military personel now in South Korea being deployed up to the Chinese border in an area that Beijing’s plan is to make into a economic tributary state; the pacification through prosperity strategy that it tends to deploy in troublesome quarters.

GIs, even GIs in blue hats, just a river’s width away from Liaoning and Jilin provinces would be an affront to a leadership in Beijing that is intent on making its mark as the region’s power. It would make a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea seem like a fraternal visit.

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Kim’s Dangerous Gauging Game With Beijing

Beijing’s pubic reaction to North Korea’s shelling of  South Korea’s Yeonpyeong island has been, not unsurprisingly, muted. It has expressed concern and called for both sides to show restraint but said little more. In that regard, the situation is similar to the torpedoing of a South Korean naval vessel in March. Beijing then refused to join the international condemnation of North Korea for being behind the attack, taking advantage of the fig leaf that Pyongyang’s denial of responsibility afforded it.

Yet this latest incident provides a sterner test of Beijing’s backing for Pyongyang. For one, North Korea has not denied it shelled the island, though it claims that South Korea fired on it first. Chinese state media has been careful not to adjudicate on that claim, describing the incident as an exchange of fire. But Pyongyang may be testing the limits of Beijing’s support just as much as it is testing South Korea and Washington’s support of Seoul.

Beijing’s long-term strategy has been to draw North Korea into its economic orbit, with an assumption that a some point foreign policy will follow as the economics start to make cooperation rather than provocation North Korea’s underlying interest in dealing with its neighbors. Despite the sanctions imposed by Washington, Seoul and Tokyo biting North Korea’s economy, that point is still far off. Meanwhile, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il, is gambling that he can rely on China’s continuing support for as long as stability on the Korean peninsula is more important to Beijing than the collapse of his regime, with that stability including the dynastic succession of power to his son, Kim Jong Un. Kim the elder is also gambling that China won’t want to be seen to being pushed by other countries into taking a harder line with him.

Those are both fine lines — for both countries. Beijing won’t want its power and influence in the region to look weak, and especially when it is becoming more assertive in the region, as the recent dispute with Japan shows. Nor will it want the U.S. to have an excuse for keeping a strong naval presence so close to its own waters. Both of which suggests that there are limits to Beijing’s support of Kim. The Dear Leader, who needs to show he remains a force to be reckoned with, may well be trying to gauge  exactly where those limits lie. It is a dangerous game.

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China’s North Korea Policy

President Hu Jintao sent an effusive congratulatory note to North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il, on his recent guest’s reelection as general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). That the Chinese leader would not have sent fraternal felicitations would have been as unexpected as the unopposed Dear Leader not winning his rubber-stamp election. But Hu slipped in personal congratulations alongside those of his Party’s, giving more credence to the school of thought that Hu’s guiding hand is behind the leadership succession in North Korea that is seeing Kim’s youngest son Kim Jong Un — The Brilliant Comrade — emerging as the heir apparent.

It is not the who so much as the how that concerns China (or more accurately the Party, for it is the party not the foreign ministry that runs China’s North Korea policy). Beijing’s primary interest is to have a stable neighbour. Beijing fears both an economic collapse of North Korea, the so-called East German problem — a flood of refugees flowing across the border in to northeastern China to escape political and economic chaos, and also a rogue act of foreign policy by the military by whatever means. The sinking of a South Korean corvette by a North Korean torpedo earlier this year was greatly concerning to Beijing despite its public stance in refusing to join the international condemnation of Pyongyang for the attack. Beijing doesn’t like surprises in international affairs, and its erstwhile ally is nothing if not unpredictable.

To deal with both worries, Beijing’s plan for North Korea is to have it open and reform its economy (as Hu advised Kim to do on his last visit) and for the WPK to exert greater control over the now more powerful military — not too dissimilar from the Chinese Party’s own path decades back. Beijing would then put a protective aid, trade and diplomatic arm around North Korea to give it a chance to put its plans into action. In return, Kim Jong Il gets Beijing’s support for his dynastic succession (below, from left The Great Leader, The Dear Leader and The Brilliant Comrade). That succession looks to be having to be hurried forward faster than Kim would like because of his ill-health. Neither Kim nor Beijing would like the military to step into the power vacuum that would be created by Kim shuffling off too soon to join his father, the Great Leader, in that great Socialist republic in the sky. So the accommodation benefits both sides.

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All this is to a certain extent speculation, given how little is actually known about the inner workings of both Pyongyang and the Hu-Kim relationship (albeit, we trust, informed speculation). There were plenty of signs of the WPK moving to exert greater control over the military at the conference that reelected Kim Jong Il — only the third such one in the WKP’s 62-year old history and first for 44 years. Kim Jong Un, a 27 year old with no military experience, was appointed a four-star general and deputy chairman of the Party’s Central Military Commission as well as joining the Politburo. His aunt, whose husband, Chang Song Taek, is head of the National Defence Commission, was also promoted to the rank of general as were four others from the Party. Revisions to the WPK’s charter stressed the need to buttress party leadership over the military “so that the WPK may be strengthened in every way and its leadership role further increased”.

A high-level North Korean delegation has already been dispatched to Beijing to brief the Party leadership there on the WPK’s conference. China’s other neighbours and the U.S. would likely be less sanguine about arrangements that would effectively put North Korea under China’s suzerainty, adding a new complication to the possible eventual unification of the Korean peninsular. But, equally, they might consider it the least of the available evils, a price to be paid for stability in the region and removing the Most Dangerous Country in the World tag from North Korea.

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Hu Tells Kim (Yes, He Was There) To Open Up

Xinhua has confirmed the somewhat badly kept secret that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was in China last week, if not that his youngest son and presumed heir, Kim Jong Un, was with him, even though seven North Korean officials on the trip were mentioned by name in the report. The visit, the second by the usually stay-at-home Kim senior to China this year, was described as unofficial.

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Kim (left) told President Hu Jintao when they met in Changchun on Friday that he was hoping for an early resumption of the stalled six-nation nuclear talks that Beijing has been trying to get going again. Not much detail on how or when that might happen.

Hu did, however, during an orgy of fraternal remarks on both sides, take the opportunity to stress to Kim on the basis of China’s experience the importance of economic development and that opening up to the world was an inevitable part of that. To what extent that fell on receptive ears, it is impossible to say, though from Kim’s reported remarks during the meeting, his world may extend no further beyond the Hermit Kingdom than Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.

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Kim Jong Il Reportedly Back In China

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North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il is reported to be paying his second visit to China this year. South Korean news reports say he arrived early on Thursday by train with his youngest son and presumed heir Kim Jong Un (left, being shown on South Korean TV). They briefly visited a middle school in Jilin that Kim Jong Il’s father, Kim Il Sung, is said to have attended in the late 1920s, underlining the lineage from Great Leader to next Leader. Where they went after that is not known.

Kim was in China in May, and this latest visit — and its purpose — is unlikely to be confirmed by either side until it is over, as is custom. The ailing North Korean leader might be seeking aid following the recent devastating flooding in his impoverished country, seeking medical aid for himself or having discussions about China’s attempt to restart the six-nations’ talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, though the presence of his son would suggest the succession might be on the agenda ahead of a rare meeting of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party in September to elect a new leadership.

One curiosity is that the trip comes when former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is in Pyongyang seeking the release of an American sentenced to eight years hard labor for entering the country illegally. (Update: Carter succeeded.) Kim’s absence from the country during Carter’s visit would be a bizarre and inexplicable breach of diplomatic etiquette, though bizarre and inexplicable is a phrase never far from events in North Korea.

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