Alexa

Report: NKorean special train arrives in China

Report: NKorean special train arrives in China

A special train from North Korea arrived in a Chinese border city early Saturday amid speculation of a visit to the country by Kim Jong Il, a news report said, though the reclusive leader's whereabouts remained unclear.
It was not confirmed whether Kim was aboard though he appeared to be, Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unidentified government source. The train that arrived in Dandong (1850 GMT) also could be an advance train preceding a trip by Kim, the South Korean source also was quoted as saying.
The National Intelligence Service, South Korea's main spy agency, said it was checking the report. An official in the office of President Lee Myung-bak said South Korea is closely monitoring the situation, though it has not obtained specific information. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the issue's sensitivity.
Speculation by media, analysts and South Korea's government of a trip to China by Kim has increased in recent days. South Korea's presidential office told reporters Wednesday there was a high possibility a visit was in the works. The reclusive Kim rarely travels abroad and only under tight security. He last visited China in January 2006.
A possible trip to China, which has been a key ally of North Korea, comes as the United States and regional powers are pressing North Korea to rejoin stalled negotiations aimed at ending its nuclear weapons programs.
Yonhap said later in a separate report that Kim did not appear to have left for China, citing a North Korean radio report that he attended an art performance. The radio report Saturday did not mention the time and location of the performance.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency also reported Saturday that Kim attended the performance without giving the time and location.
South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper also reported on its Web site that the train which arrived in Dandong was confirmed as a cargo train and that Kim's special train appeared to be in North Korea as of 8 a.m. local time there (2300 GMT). The newspaper cited an unidentified Chinese source.
South Korean media reported earlier this week that several North Korean and Chinese officials were seen checking a rail bridge in Dandong.


Updated : 2021-02-26 01:23 GMT+08:00