Seeking to break his country’s political isolation, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un announced he wants to make a state visit to China, Reuters reports. While the People’s Republic has long been North Korea’s only powerful ally, relationships between the two nations have cooled since Kim ordered weapons testing against China’s — and the larger international communities’ — wishes.
It’s not clear whether China will be prepared to host North Korea’s new, young leader in September, as Kim requested. Beijing will be preoccupied with its own leadership change this fall. As well, the Chinese government may not be keen on a visit after North Korea patently defied its allt by conducting a long-range missile test.
Kim is hoping China will assist in reforming North Korea’s economy and agree to boost bilateral. North Koreans are among Asia’s poorest people, due to a deeply corrupt leadership, decades of government mismanagement and the effect of international sanctions.