Entering the final leg of his official visit to China, Jang Sung Taek had individual face-to-face talks with both President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing earlier today.
According to the Chinese state media, Jang thanked President Hu for making time for the meeting despite China’s impending 18th Party Congress (which is scheduled for this October). He also conveyed warm greetings from “the supreme leader of the Chosun Workers’ Party, state and People’’s Army, Marshal Kim Jong Eun.”
For his part, Hu is said to have offered Jang congratulations on the successful completion of the 3rd meeting of the DPRK-China Joint Guidance Committee for the joint development of the Rasun and Hwanggeumpyong-Wihwa Island Special Economic Zones, before conveying “words of consolation on the behalf of the Communist Party, Chinese government and people for the considerable loss of life and damage to property caused by recent flooding in some regions.”
Hu also expressed his pleasure at Jang’s visit, commending him on his contribution to the development of Sino-North Korean relations.
In their later meeting, Wen Jiabao also commented on the recent flooding before adding that he hoped Jang’s visit would lead to a major step forward in bilateral relations.
Jang’s visit has been heavily focused on economic issues, including not only the 3rd meeting of the DPRK-China Joint Guidance Committee on the 14th but also visits to Jilin Province and Liaoning Province on the 15th and 16th to discuss support for North Korean development with local leaders.
He also met on Thursday with Wang Jiarui, the head of the Communist Party of China’s International Department.
“Jang hailed efforts by the Chinese side to develop the zones. He said the DPRK is willing to make joint efforts with China to firmly implement the important consensus reached by both leaders so as to lift the traditional DPRK-China friendship to a new height,” a report carried by the state-run Xinhua today explained, adding, “The two sides also exchanged views on their domestic situations and other issues of common concern.”