The Central Party Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party has issued an internal decree stating, ‘Abandon the Chinese dream!’ The statement was revealed to cadres ranked departmental director and above in the central institutions, who correspond to the rank of officials monitored directly by the Party’s Organisation and Guidance Department (OGD).
The statement was issued during internal party lectures in late April, according to our sources. The lecture materials stated that ‘Xi Jinping is a figure who regards the suffering of the Cultural Revolution as resulting from the repressive nature of the Chinese Communist Party’, and went on to say that ‘China is a bad neighbour that slanders even our nuclear self-defence capabilities, by taking sides with the US’.
The lecture materials continued, ‘In the past, the Chinese Communist Party was in revolutionary fellowship, by sharing in the anti-Japanese resistance traditions of the great marshals Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. But today’s Chinese Communist Party is a Xi Jinping style party of selfishness, pursuing reforms and opening, and therefore choosing to put money before ideology.’
The materials continued, ‘The Chinese Communist Party, which is enjoying being in bed with the imperialists and dreaming dreams with them, is even openly critical of our nuclear self-defence capabilities,’ and went onto stress, ‘If only to persevere in our revolutionary principle of Juche (Self-Reliance), we must amplify the foundations of an independent economy.’
In the wake of these lectures, the KWP Central Party Committee issued an edict ordering state sanctioned trading companies to decrease trade with China and expand trade with Russia.
Similar edicts, issued by Kim Jong-il in 2000 and 2002 to decrease North Korea’s economic dependence on China, resulted in failures of implementation. Perhaps for this reason, the recent CPC edict comes with a warning of follow-up surveillance measures; and there is growing concern among North Korean officials working in trading companies.
The recent edict requires for the implementation of strict import controls that call for everyday goods to be imported from Russia or European nations, rather than from China.
In addition, there have been orders stating that business deals conducted in Chinese yuan must be more strictly monitored than those in US dollars. Koryo Air flights between Pyongyang and Moscow are to be increased in frequency; there is said to have been agreement on this already from the Russian side.
The recent measures that encourage a reduced dependence on China suggest that there is increasing tension and antagonism between DPRK and China. Such tension existed under Kim Jong-il, but only became more widely known in the aftermath of Jang Song-thaek’s purge and execution.
Pro-Russian leanings among the North Korean leadership have become more concrete since the return to Pyongyang of Ri Yong-nam, who was Party Secretary at the DPRK embassy in Moscow, and is the eldest son of deceased OGD First Deputy Director Ri Je-gang.