1. (C) Presidential Advisor and Special Ambassador Andre Kapanga told PolCouns October 18 that he and Foreign Minister Ramazani (possibly with other government officials) will be visiting China the first week of November, followed by a 4-day visit to North Korea. Kapanga said the delegation will try to encourage improved trade with and investment in the DRC by China, but seemed almost embarrassed when PolCouns asked what Congo could get from North Korea, and gave no clear answer except to assure her that the DRC certainly does not intend to sell anything like uranium to the North Koreans.
2. (C) China has long had a very visible presence in the DRC: aside from its Embassy, there is also a relatively large (200-300 man) engineering battalion in Bukavu attached to the UN Mission to the Congo (MONUC). This detachment is ostensibly responsible for maintaining the road to the airport, which is frequently washed out, but the deplorable condition of the road substantiates comments by Bukavu Monuc personnel that "no one knows what they are doing out there." In addition, there are numerous reports of Chinese (or other asian) individuals in Katanga province, near the Shinkolobwe mine, and recently Chinese businessmen have been visiting Lumbambashi, the Katangan capital. It is possible that the government simply wants to officially capture its revenue share of the resource traffic which already probably is leaving Congo en route to China. The same does not, however, apply to North Korea, which remains, at best, a very strange destination for this delegation. MEECE