Monday, September 5, 2011

North Korea's Kim does not trust China: US cable

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il expressed distrust of his country's major economic prop China during a 2009 meeting with a visiting South Korean businesswoman, according to a US diplomatic cable.

The cable released by anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks summarises a meeting between the US ambassador in Seoul and Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jung-Eun, who had recently returned from a meeting in Pyongyang with the leader.

The cable dated August 28, 2009 quoted Hyun as saying Kim had made a comment about "not trusting" China, without elaborating.

Kim also complained that Seoul's unification ministry tasked with handling cross-border relations had "lost the driver's seat" to the foreign ministry, which he asserted did not understand North Korea.

Hyun's group developed two major cross-border joint projects, the Mount Kumgang resort and the Kaesong industrial estate.

The cable depicts Kim in apparent conciliatory mood, just months after a long-range missile launch and a second nuclear test sparked international concern.

Discussing relations with the United States, he told Hyun he had altered some parts of the Arirang festival to "fit American tastes". more