Chinese authorities have reportedly blocked all internet searches that are critical of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
Sources told the South Korean news outlet that state-controlled Chinese media have been encouraged to run favorable articles of North Korea and its leader.
“China’s alleged moves to suppress negative public opinion towards Kim come as Beijing strives to restore relations with Pyongyang after the North Korean leader’s two recent summit meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping,” Yonhap News Agency reported.
In particular, searches for the Chinese phrase “Jin San Pang,” which means “Kim Fatty the Third,” have disappeared completely. The expression was used by Chinese in the past to make fun of Kim, but searches for the term have now been blocked on multiple social media sites.
“When bilateral conflict escalated over North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests last year, China didn’t impose a ban on searches for ‘Jin San Pang.’ But the phrase has disappeared online after Kim met with Xi in Beijing in March,” one source said.
Other positive North Korea coverage by Chinese media includes North Korea’s economic and industrial growth, North Korean delegations visiting China, and suggestions for the international community to reward denuclearization with security, according to Breitbart.
Kim has made two trips to China in the same number of months to meet with Xi for the first time since he took power.
“After the first meeting between me and Comrade Chairman (Kim), both China-DPRK relations and the Korean peninsula situation have made positive progress. I feel happy about it,” Xi said.
The two leaders were photographed walking together and, according to The Xinhua, “the top leaders of the two parties and the two countries had an all-around and in-depth exchange of views on China-DPRK relations and major issues of common concern.”
Breitbart reported that these improved relations could be Chinese expressions of approval of the peace negotiations between North Korea and its enemies.
Kim has met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in twice in the first steps toward possible peace on the Korean peninsula. In April, the two leaders vowed to “cease all hostile acts” and to “transform the Demilitarized Zone into a peace zone.” The two nations remain in a technical state of war because the Korean War’s fighting ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
The meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump is also back on the schedule for June 12 in Singapore after a North Korean general delivered a letter from Kim to the White House last week.
North Korea sent Kim Yong Chol — a top lieutenant, spy chief and vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party — to deliver the letter and meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
At the end of May, U.S. officials reportedly traveled to North Korea in order to prepare for the summit and meet with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui.
“Our two countries face a pivotal moment in our relationship, and it would be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste,” Pompeo said.
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