BEIJING — China’s Foreign Ministry has been at its stonewalling, noncommittal best this week after news of the dramatic assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korea’s leader, repeating the mantra that it has “noticed relevant media reports and is closely following developments.”
But behind the scenes, there is a sense of shock and dismay in Beijing, officials and experts say: If indeed Kim Jong Nam was assassinated on the orders of the North Korean leader, it would be seen as an affront to the country that has afforded him protection for many years.
“China’s inner circle of government is highly nervous about this,” said Wang Weimin, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University in Shanghai.
“Kim Jong Nam’s assassination makes China more aware of how unpredictable and cruel the current North Korean regime is, as well as Kim Jong Un’s willingness to abandon China and sell it for his own benefit at any second,” Wang said.
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Featured image courtesy of EPA.