October 14, 2010 09:25
China has approved the succession to the leadership by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son and heir Jong-un by sending him a gift engraved with a phrase recognizing the "third-generation hereditary succession."
According to the official KCNA news agency on Tuesday, Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, presented Kim Jong-un with a plate engraved with a photo showing former Chinese leader Mao Zedong and North Korean founder Kim Il-sung smiling during a meeting. Zhou was in Pyongyang leading a delegation to the 65th anniversary of the North Korean Workers Party.
Also engraved on the plate is a phrase which says, "We extend warm congratulations to you on the 65th anniversary of the Workers Party. We hope you can develop the traditional China-[North] Korea friendship and pass it down generation after generation."
A gift to Kim senior was engraved with a photo of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Kim himself shaking hands and a phrase mentioning "friendship and cooperation."
A South Korean government official said, "It appears China has effectively approved the succession in writing."
On Monday, Hu invited the new North Korean party leadership to China. Park Byung-kwang, a researcher at the Institute for National Security Strategy, said, "Since the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan in March, China has been placing more emphasis on the strategic value of the North in East Asia."
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