Friday, 3 January 2014

"Quan Jue"

This fascinating Straits Times piece on what (PRC government mouthpiece) Wen Wei Po's publishing of a lurid description of how Kim Jong Un had his uncle, Jang Song-Thaek executed says about PRC-DPRK relations is well worth reading. Money quote:
"According to the report, unlike previous executions of political prisoners which were carried out by firing squads with machine guns, Jang was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides. Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called "quan jue", or execution by dogs.
..... The official litany of Jang's treason implicated China three times. Jang was accused of underselling coal and other natural resources for which China was virtually the sole customer. He was also charged with "selling off the land of Rason economic and trade zone to a foreign country for a period of five decades under the pretext of paying debts". Finally, he was accused of selling precious metals, thus disrupting the country's financial stability. In fact, China purchased some of North Korea's gold reserves several months ago."
"Quan Jue" (犬决) is a Chinese term, not a Korean one, and there's no knowing if the description of  Jang's demise is accurate, but the Straits Times's linking of Jang's execution, and the apparent propaganda retaliation against it from Beijing, to deteriorating relations between the two countries seems perceptive.

Over the past decade, with economic growth in the PRC vastly outstripping that in the North, North Korea has become almost an economic adjunct of China. Visitors from China to North Korea that I've talked to disparagingly compare the modern-day DPRK to Cultural Revolution-era China, marvel about the buying power of the renminbi in that unhappy country, and how successful Chinese business have been there. It seems likely that this growing influence is what Kim Jong Un is so brutally trying to counter in his elimination of Jang. If so, he may well have bitten off more than he can chew.

(H/T The Daily Dish)


Anonymous said...

A story that has now been proven to be untrue.

Gilman Grundy said...

Yup. But the fact that (CCP-owned) Wen Wei Po would publish it says a lot about how the CCP sees Kim's regime right now.