Three days after executing his uncle and North Korea's second-most powerful official, Jang Song Thaek, the country's young leader Kim Jong Un has ordered North Korean businessmen in China to return home, according to South Korea based observers.
The order is expected to have long lasting ramifications because China is regarded as North Korea's closest ally, and it ignored western resistance to continuously support Pyongyang with financial aid and diplomatic support.
South Korea's Yonhap News Agency also quoted a source saying North Korea was also planning to pull out its officials from China.
It said the order was part of a crackdown being carried out in North Korea against Jang's supporters, who include several businessmen in China. Jang was in Beijing last year seeking financial assistance for special economic zones in North Korea.
Yonhap said several businessmen working in the border Chinese cities of Dandong and Shenyang had already begun returning home even before the order was issued on Sunday.
"A large number of North Korean businessmen in Shenyang and Dandong have gone home in a hurry this week," the news agency quoted a source as saying. It said these businessmen in border cities have played a key role in attracting investment into North Korea.
The news agency quoted another source as saying, "The ostensible reason will be to educate them on the government's policies, but (in fact), those classified as having connections to Jang Song Thaek will never be able to go abroad again and will be purged".
One of the charges leveled against Jang before his execution was that he had sold off the country's natural resources at extremely low prices. This was obviously referring to North Korea's deals with China, which is the only major buyer of natural resources from the neighboring country.
The 29-year old Kim, who took over the reins of North Korea two years back, is believed to have executed Jang in order to consolidate his position. "This case can be seen as part of the reign of terror of Kim Jong Un," South Korean Defence Minister Kim Kwan Jin said Friday.
Jang, 67, has also been accused of trying to carry out a coup to overthrow the young ruler and indulging in immoral acts like womanizing and gambling. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/After-executing-uncle-Kim-orders-North-Koreans-in-China-to-return/articleshow/27445165.cms