Il figlio più giovane del leader nordcoreano Kim Jong II – e presumibilmente l’erede legittimo – ha segretamente visitato la Cina la scorsa settimana durante la quale è stato esortato dal Presidente cinese Hi Jintao, a fermare i test nucleari supplementari attualmente in corso. La notizia è stata riportata dal principale quotidiano giapponese.
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The youngest son — and reportedly heir apparent — of North Korea’s ailing leader Kim Jong Il secretly visited China last week and was urged by President Hu Jintao to have the North halt additional nuclear tests, a top Japanese newspaper said Tuesday.
During the trip around June 10, Kim Jong Un asked China — its key ally and biggest aid donor — to continue its energy and food aid to the North, the Asahi newspaper said, quoting unnamed North Korean sources in Beijing.
It also said that Hu urged the 26-year-old to have Pyongyang refrain from carrying out any further nuclear and missile tests. It did not provide further details.
An aide to Jong Un, who accompanied him on the trip along with senior officials, used the occasion to inform Chinese officials that Jong Un would be inheriting power from his father, the report said.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry and Unification Ministry said they could not confirm the report. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news conference in Beijing on Tuesday that he had no knowledge of any such meeting.
Little is known about Jong Un, who was born to Kim Jong Il’s late wife, Ko Yong Hi. He studied at the International School of Berne in Switzerland until 1998 under a pseudonym and learned English, German and French, the Swiss weekly news magazine L’Hebdo reported earlier this year, citing classmates and school officials.
South Korea’s largest television network, KBS, reported Monday that Jong Un’s supporters tried to assassinate his elder brother Kim Jong Nam, but that China sent agents to Macau to move him to an undisclosed location. The report quoted unidentified government sources in Beijing.
The South’s Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday that North Korea’s defense chief Kim Yong Chun secretly visited Beijing Saturday but did not specify his mission. Yonhap quoted an unnamed source privy to the North’s affairs.
The South Korean government said it could not confirm the report. Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, which carried a similar report, quoted China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that “normal exchanges” are continuing between Beijing and Pyongyang, without confirming the visit.
In protest over the North’s May 25 nuclear test, Japan said Tuesday it would ban all exports to North Korea. Prime Minister Taro Aso’s Cabinet approved the measure to punish Pyongyang for its blast — its second following its first underground nuclear blast in October 2006.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said the export ban “is a message” to the North.
Japan’s total ban on exports came on the heels of new U.N. sanctions against North Korea. The U.N. Security Council punished the communist country Friday for the May blast by expanding an arms embargo and authorizing ship searches on the high seas in a bid to derail its nuclear and missile programs.
Japan imposed tight trade sanctions against the North in 2006 after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile into waters between the two countries and conducted its first nuclear test.
Since then, bilateral trade has been reduced to minuscule levels. Japan has imported no goods from North Korea since 2007, while its exports to the North totaled just 792.6 million yen ($8.1 million) in 2008, down 26 percent from a year earlier, according to the Finance Ministry.
Japans’ current export ban covers only luxury goods such as pricey beef, caviar, alcohol, jewelry and cars. Tuesday’s decision expands the ban to Japan’s main exports to North Korea, including bicycles, machinery, plastic products and fishing nets.
Associated Press writer Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul contributed to this report.
Telegraph, 16 giugno 2009