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Beijing as perplexed as the West by Kim Jong Un’s disappearance

October 23rd, 2014
03:22 AM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Chinese authorities were just as bewildered by North Korean Kim Jong-Un’s mysterious absence from public life as the rest of the world, a former Chinese ambassador who now advises the Foreign Ministry told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

“We don't know what happened - he disappeared and then he appeared again. We don’t know what happened in the meantime,” Ambassador Wu Jianmin said with a laugh.

After remaining out of the spotlight for over a month, Kim Jong-Un made an equally mysterious reappearance and offered no explanation for his prolonged absence. Wu said he found the 32-year-old leader “quite mysterious”.

“The Chinese leader has had no direct contact with him apart from the vice president, Yuanchao. He went to Korea, he met with him, and Xi Jinping had no meeting since,” he said.

Wu has previously served as ambassador to France and the United Nations in Geneva. He now sits on an advisory panel for the foreign ministry, and is an associate at the London School of Economics' "IDEAS" program.

As Africa’s largest trading partner, China has gradually stepped up Ebola aid to the worst affected countries. “We have to join hands to fight together this virus. We sent teams to Africa. We are going to do more in this regard.”

Beijing has already dispatched medical material and several aid teams, and on Monday the World Food Programme announced that China has donated $6 million for emergency food aid in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

And as Hong Kong’s government met for the first time with pro-democracy protesters after over three weeks of demonstrations, Wu accepted that “people have differences. They sit down, talk to each other, trying to work out a solution. That's good.”

Click above to watch the full interview.


Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • North Korea
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