採訪/陳漢 編輯/王子琦 後製/李勇
How to understand North Korean high-level lightning
visit to South Korea?
Recently, North Korea’s “No. 2 figure" Hwang Pyong-So
and two other senior officials Choe Ryong-Hae,
and Kim Yang-Gon,
made a sudden visit to South Korea, drawing worldwide attention.
This is the first time North Korea dispatched
such high-level officials
to visit South Korea since Park Geun-hye took position
of President in South Korea.
Many Western mainstream media expressed their “surprise".
So how should we understand the North Korean officials’ visit
to South Korea? Let’s take a look.
Yonhap News Agency reported that North Korea officially
notified South Korea on Oct. 3,
that they would send Hwang Pyong-So and others to visit
South Korea the next day and South Korea agreed.
Cheong Wa Dae (The Blue House) also issued a statement,
claiming President Park Geun-hye intended to interview
North Korea’s delegation,
but with the tight timeframe, it made it practically impossible.
On Oct. 4th, North Korea’s high-level delegation, including
North Korean Politburo head Hwang Pyong-So,
the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Choe Ryong-Hae
and Secretary of Central Office of KWP Party Kim Yang-Gon,
interviewed the North Korean delegation in the Asian Sports
Games in Incheon, South Korea
and attended the closing ceremony of the Games.
South Korean Unification Ministry said the two Korean sides
agreed to restore high-level official dialogue,
which has been interrupted for seven months.
On the same day, the two sides held high-level talks in the form
of a “luncheon meeting".
North Korea’s high-level delegation met with South Korean Unification
Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae and Prime Minister Jung Hong-won.
On the same morning the Korean high-level delegation
left South Korea.
The two sides reached a preliminary agreement to hold the second
high-level talks by the end of October or early November.
American Chinese magazine “China Affairs" Chief Editor
Mr Wu Fan: “North Korea’s second, third and fourth highest
officials notified Seoul on Oct 3rd, arriving in South Korea next day.
I think Seoul and Pyongyang may have already had secret
communications with this.
Once such a thing occurs, the public would guess, Kim Jong-un
probably has been under house arrest, or wounded?
He was unable to walk. Then he was confined and sent
to the hospital, or locked up.
It is possible, such a case can happen."
Ruling and opposition parties in South Korea both welcomed
the North Korean high-level delegation visit to South Korea.
A U.S. State Department official said the United States supported
improving relations between both Korean sides.
In fact, since August of this year, South Korea has been
continually speaking to Pyongyang,
hoping to hold talks as soon as possible, but without any
Now North Korea has contacted the South Korean officials
during the sporting events and this generally raises
the concerns of many political analysts.
Such talks could become the “ice-breaking journey"
for the inter-Korean relations,
and even more daring speculation is that
North and South Korea may move towards a reunification.
However, some scholars expressed different views.
Yan Zhensheng is Director of the Research Center for Taiwan
International Relations of National Chengchi University.
He says:"During this time’s high-level meeting,
I do not think there will be any new breakthroughs,
but at least this indicates that North Korea probably feels
that it has been isolated.
North Korea even thought of Xi Jinping first visiting
Seoul but not visiting Pyongyang.
This is breaking the past practices,
so it should make for some different form of actions."
Recent news shows that recently North Korean officials
have had a spate of diplomatic visits,
but with no minimal level foreign minister visits
to Chinese authorities.
American Chinese magazine “China Affairs" Chief Editor
Wu Fan, said that a sudden change in North Korea
might be a great stimulus to Beijing.
Since Sept. 3, Kim Jong-un has not appeared
in public for one month.
Given the previous picture’s of Kim Jong-un limping
on a North Korean televised broadcast,
has triggered a variety of speculations.
Oct. 3, British “Telegraph" quoted news that a curfew was
carried out throughout the whole city of Pyongyang.
This unusual move sparked the speculation of
whether North Korea has a coup or not.
However, on Oct. 5th, South Korea’s Unification Minister
Ryoo Kihl-jae, cited Kim Yang-gon’s, saying,
that Kim Jong-un’s current physical condition
has no problems.
Chinese Anti-Political Persecution Alliance Director
Liu Yinquan: “If North Korea has a military coup,
then it is a blessing for the Korean people,
of the Chinese people, and even of the worlds people.
I very much hope that North Korea’s insightful guys
overturn the autocratic regime established
by Kim’s family, moving towards democracy.
Then both sides of the Korean family may reunify.
Peace in the Korean peninsula will also be achieved,
and hence the world’s power keg is also eliminated.
Such is China’s Easterly neighbour, a hungry wolf,
which is continuing to request assistance from China,
may also perish."
In addition, Kim Yang-Gon’s role during the trip
attracted media attention.
South Korean-based “Chosun Online" says, DPRK’s opening
speech during the banquet and talks to South Korea,
are nearly all made by Kim Yang-Gon.
The report quoted experts as saying that Kim Yang-Gon
is not only the head in charge of all affairs of North Korea
with the South Korean’s, but he was also
deeply trusted by Kim Jong-il.
As the former vice chairman of the National Defense
Commission of the DPRK,
and the incumbent KWP Secretary Choe Ryong-Hae,
has taken key position among the party,
government, and military systems with his power-order
second only to Kim Jong-un originally,
but his power has now dropped sharply
since the second half of this year.
After Kim Jong-un’s uncle-in-law Jang Sung-taek
has been eliminated,
Choe Ryong-Hae’s power status has been replaced
by Hwang Pyong-So,
who is now the second most powerful figure
with real influence in North Korea.
Interview/ChenHan Edit/Wang Ziqi Post-Production/LiYong