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China outlaws North Korea reporting ahead of party congress

By Elizabeth Shim
China outlaws North Korea reporting ahead of party congress
Chinese President Xi Jinping does not want major North Korea provocations to disrupt the upcoming 19th Communist Party congress. Beijing has banned reports of North Korea weapons ahead of the gathering. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 16 (UPI) -- China is banning independent reporting on North Korea ahead of the Chinese Communist Party's 19th congress.

The censorship of media reports is targeting news of North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs, which Beijing has publicly condemned, Kyodo news reported.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is wary of North Korea's next move, after Pyongyang refrained from undertaking major provocations on the anniversary of the Korean Workers' Party, which was celebrated last Tuesday.

China could be concerned North Korea could use the occasion of Beijing's party congress to launch a missile to express its displeasure with recent Chinese policies.

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In late August, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported China was forcing out North Korean restaurant workers and refusing to renew their visas.

Beijing's commerce ministry had also stated on its website North Korea enterprises and individuals can no longer create joint ventures of China-based foreign entities in the world's second-largest economy.

There are other signs North Korea is unhappy with China, its closest economic partner.

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According to journalist Nicholas Kristof, a North Korean official who met with him during his recent visit to the reclusive state, said the Chinese point man for North Korea affairs, Kong Xuanyou, was turned away.

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North Korea refused to allow Kong to visit, because, "We know what Kong would say, so he doesn't need to say it here," according to the official.

North Korea has shown little concern for Chinese uneasiness while conducting multiple weapons tests.

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Radiation levels in China's northeastern Changbai County reached new highs following North Korea's sixth nuclear test in September.

Sources have said they have felt disturbances in border towns following tests.

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