Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
December 18, 2013

China’s strategy of encouraging closer economic integration with North Korea has been thrown into confusion by the execution of the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to diplomats and Chinese experts.

Jang Song Thaek, whose execution was announced by North Korea on Friday, was seen by Beijing as the most pro-China and pro-business figure in the North Korean leadership, the diplomats and experts say.

That made him central to China’s long-term strategy of building up infrastructure along the North Korean border and encouraging cross-border trade and investment through special economic zones in North Korea.

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