Monday, September 11, 2006

China’s New North Korean Ambassador Pro-U.S.

China appointed a diplomatic expert on the U.S. as new ambassador to Pyongyang. Chinese President Hu Jintao named 50-year old Liu Xiaoming as new ambassador to North Korea. Liu has extensive experience in U.S. affairs but none in Korean peninsular issues. This is first time for China to send an U.S. specialist to the North as an ambassador.

After earning his master’s degree in 1983 from the Fletcher School of Law and Foreign Affairs, Tufts University, he has mainly worked for the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. and North American and Oceania Affairs Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Analysts agree that such drastic change reflects China’s efforts to resolve core diplomatic issues like North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues at a new angle. They also point out that this heralds China’s intention to untangle North Korean issues based on its relations with the U.S.

“This signals China’s shift in diplomacy against North Korea,” the Wen Wei Po Daily, a Hong Kong-based newspaper, said, mentioning the appointment of Liu.

[Dong-A Ilbo]

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