The North Korean leaders have repeatedly made the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s leaders lose face. This shows that the CCP cannot easily influence the “fraternal parties.”
Kim Il-sung, the founder and supreme leader of the Workers’ Party, North Korea’s ruling party, once angered Mao Zedong.
In a weaker position and dependent on the CCP, the Workers’ Party of Korea must consult the CCP in important decisions. However, according to Ko Su-Seok, a Kookmin University professor, Kim did not do so at one time.
When planning the invasion of southern Korea, Kim consulted Stalin first and was slow to report the war plan to Mao Zedong, the then-leader of the CCP.
Mao was furious at Kim’s contemptuous actions and swore at him. According to Professor Ko, Mao cursed Kim as a “son of a [b….],” despite Kim being idolized as a god in North Korea.
Kim Jong-il, son of Kim Il-sung, after replacing his father in power in North Korea, also demonstrated disrespect for the CCP.
In October 2006, North Korea conducted a nuclear test to provoke Japan and South Korea. However, only 20 minutes before the nuclear test took place did Pyongyang inform the CCP.
The CCP was furious. The Chinese Foreign Ministry harshly criticized the Kim Jong-il government and used the word “arbitrary” to describe Pyongyang’s actions.
According to Professor Ko, this is the first time the CCP has used this word to criticize its neighbor. Previously, such comments were only used by the CCP to defame the US.
When Kim Jong-un became the leader of the Workers’ Party, he continued his father and grandfather’s disrespect for the CCP.
After Xi Jinping won the leadership of the CCP in late 2012, Xi sent envoys to Pyongyang to advise Kim Jong-un that nuclear weapons should not be tested before Xi took office as China’s president.
Kim Jong-un, then still a young man who had just come to power, flatly rejected the CCP envoy’s suggestion, saying that North Korea’s nuclear weapons test was independent and unrelated to the Chinese side.
Then, on February 12, Kim conducted a nuclear weapons test. Notably, the test occurred during the Chinese Lunar New Year and only a few days before Xi took office as president.
On the afternoon of February 12, the CCP summoned North Korea’s ambassador to criticize the Kim family’s disrespectful act.