Thursday, 28th September 2023

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‘Subtle North Korea-China relations’ revealed at military parade?

While North Korea held a civil defense military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the regime’s establishment (September 9), China sent a delegation to reaffirm its commitment to solidarity. However, differences in protocol were revealed compared to the military parade held on the occasion of North Korea’s ‘Victory Day’ (Korean War Armistice Agreement Anniversary , July 27), attracting attention.

On the 9th, the Korean Central News Agency, a state-run media outlet, reported, “The civil defense military parade commemorating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Republic was held in a grand manner at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang the day before.”

At this military parade, units of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Guards, which were a reserve force rather than a regular army, appeared in line. Instead of intercontinental ballistic missiles ( ICBMs ) and other nuclear missiles for striking Korea, the United States, and Japan, bottled water trucks and tractors armed with small rockets appeared in a row.

Looking at the reported photos, Chairman Kim Jong-un watched the military parade from the ‘top seat of the president’s group’ alongside his daughter ‘Joo Ae’.

Liu Guojung, Vice Premier of the State Council, who visited Korea leading the Chinese party and government delegation, watched the military parade from a position one level lower than Chairman Kim, although he was a member of the podium. The position placed was next to Prime Minister Kim Deok-hoon, Labor Party Secretary Cho Yong-won, and Foreign Minister Choi Son-hee.

This is different from the fact that Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee Vice Chairman Li Hongzhong and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who each visited North Korea as heads of Chinese and Russian delegations during the military parade last July, stood on either side of Chairman Kim.

Li Zhanshu, then chairman of China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee, who visited North Korea five years ago to mark the 70th anniversary먹튀검증 of the establishment of the North Korean regime, also watched the military parade alongside Chairman Kim.

It appears that North Korea has effectively downgraded its protocol amid speculation that China recently sent Vice Prime Minister Ryu, whose status is relatively lower than that of five years ago, to distance itself from its close ties with North Korea and Russia. The position of Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee is considered to be ranked 3rd in China, while the position of Vice Premier of the State Council is considered to be ranked 25th.

In particular, Vice-Chairman Lee, who took the position next to Chairman Kim last July, is also evaluated as 24th in rank, so the respect for Deputy Prime Minister Ryu is assessed to have fallen significantly.

North Korea and China said, ‘ Let’s cooperate strategically and tactically in the complex international situation, ‘ butwhen we contacted them again two months later,they only mentioned ‘cooperation for the welfare of the people.’
‘Subtle changes’ are also confirmed in reports about the meeting between Chairman Kim and the Chinese delegation.

The news agency reported that Chairman Kim met with the Chinese delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Ryu and said, “We will develop friendly and cooperative relations between North Korea and China and further revitalize cooperation and cooperative projects in various fields for the welfare of the people of the two countries.” “I saw a match,” he said.

Previously, when Chairman Kim met with the Chinese delegation last July, he said, “The two countries will vigorously push forward the construction of socialism, proactively respond to the complex international situation through close strategic and tactical cooperation, and promote new friendship and comradely cooperation.” “The position of the two parties and the governments of the two countries to continuously advance development to a high level has been reaffirmed,” he said.

North Korea and China, which had discussed ‘strategic and tactical cooperation in relation to the international situation’, met again after two months and only mentioned ‘cooperation and cooperation projects for the welfare of the people’.

It is observed that if strategic-level communication was carried out in July, when nuclear missiles for striking Korea, the United States, and Japan were unveiled, this civilian-centered military parade could have been used as an opportunity to focus on economic discussions.

Russia does not send a delegation
Members of the Alexandrov Name Russian Military Academy Concert Group and Chinese and Russian diplomatic representatives in North Korea were also invited to this military parade.

It is considered unusual for Russia to send only a military concert group rather than a delegation. Previously, in 2018, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the North Korean regime, a Russian delegation led by Senate President Valentina Matvienko visited North Korea.

Some speculate that North Korea and Russia refrained from sending a delegation because they were preparing for summit diplomacy. U.S. intelligence officials are paying attention to the possibility that

Chairman Kim will attend the Eastern Economic Forum ( EEF ) to be held in Vladivostok, Russia from the 10th to the 13th and hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In fact, Deputy Prime Minister Ryu is in charge of the economic sector and is considered to have a high level of understanding of North Korean issues as he is a former head of Jilin Province, a region bordering North Korea and China.

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