February 10, 2014 11:39
The Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang continues to feature photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's uncle Jang Song-taek, who was publicly denounced and brutally executed by the regime.
Diplomatic sources in Beijing did not rule out a mistake, but they also speculate that China is pointedly keeping the pictures up because Jang was active in relations with Beijing.
The two photos on the website were taken in August 2012 when Jang visited Beijing with a huge entourage and was greeted by former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.
However, the Korean-language version of the website does not feature those photos.
At that time, Jang arrived in the Chinese capital flanked by around 50 officials to seek investment in special economic zones on Hwanggumpyong Island and the Rajin-Sonbong region. China rolled out the red carpet. The only other North Korean official who visited China accompanied by that many officials was former leader Kim Jong-il.
One diplomatic source in Beijing said, "It's interesting that the photos of Jang Song-taek remain only on the Chinese-language website. For North Korea, which meticulously erased all records of Jang, the existence of the photos depicting Jang's achievements must be quite embarrassing."
The embassy is not otherwise lackadaisical in updating the website, and Ambassador Liu Hongcai's lunar New Year's address was promptly uploaded.
The photos of Jang appear at the top of a section highlighting bilateral relations.
Beijing has refrained from commenting directly on Jang's execution, calling it an "internal matter."
Meanwhile, Radio Free Asia on Sunday said the managers of the top North Korean-run restaurant and hotel in China were summoned back to the North after being classified as supporters of Jang. The restaurant is Haedangwha in Liaoning Province, and the hotel is the four-star Chilbosan Hotel in Shenyang.
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