Chinese President Xi Jinping looked relaxed when meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Beijing for the first time in March, 2018. (As originally broadcast by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency)

On June 20, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited North Korea for the first time. The same day, a reporting partner living in the northern region of the country spoke with ASIAPRESS, giving insight into the atmosphere of the country and how the Chinese leader’s visit was received by the people. (Kang Ji-won/ISHIMARU Jiro)

“This visit by Xi Jinping is historic. It is no less historic than the summit with the United States. Heads of state from big countries like the United States, Japan, and China have not visited our country. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is not on their level.”

According to the reporting partner, Workers’ Party officials in Hyesan, Ryanggang Province, expressed this view, speaking very highly of Xi Jinping’s visit. However, it is simply the ‘official view’.

What, though, is the reaction of the general population? In the words of the reporting partner, “There are many who say they hope improved relations with China will make life easier than it is now. However, there is not a growing sense of anticipation.”

On the contrary, traders reacted “coldly” to President Xi’s visit.
Next page : The reporting partner continued...