Kim Jong-Il ‘travels to China’

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(KATAKAMI / TELEGRAPH.CO.UK)  According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, around 200 Chinese police officers surrounded the train station in Dandong.

“We have confirmed the arrival of a special train at Dandong, a Chinese city on the North Korean border, and we believe it is highly likely that Chairman Kim is on board,” Yonhap quoted an official as saying

Mr Kim’s trip to China had been widely forecast by South Korean and Japanese media for around late April, but it did not go ahead as predicted.

South Korea’s YTN television reported Sunday that Mr Kim’s trip might have been pushed back due to the heavy outside media exposure and safety concerns.

North Korea’s number two leader Kim Yong-Nam met with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday on the sidelines of the World Expo in Shanghai but it was not known what they discussed.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been rising since the sinking of a South Korean warship near the disputed sea border with North Korea on March 26, with suspicion falling on Pyongyang.

Mr Kim, who reportedly dislikes flying, has previously travelled by train to China on a number of occasions, the most recent in 2006.

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A train believed to be carrying North Korea’s secretive leader Kim Jong-Il, seen here in an undated handout photo, arrived at the Chinese border early Monday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, quoting unnamed sources.

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A woman carries a child past a display board with photos of Kim Jong Il outside the North Korean Embassy in Beijing, China, Monday, May 3, 2010.

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A man looks at a display board with photos of Kim Jong Il outside the North Korean Embassy in Beijing, China, Monday, May 3, 2010. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was believed to be making a rare trip to China on Monday aboard his personal armored train, South Korean news reports said.

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A North Korean flag flutters above the North Korean Embassy in Beijing May 3, 2010. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il appears to have entered China, his destitute state’s biggest benefactor, for a rare trip abroad that could defuse tensions on the troubled peninsula, reports said on Monday.

Vehicles that are possibly part of North Korean ...
Vehicles that are possibly part of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s convoy cross the Friendship Bridge over the Yalu River, which connects the Chinese city of Dandong with Sinuiju in North Korea, May 3, 2010. Kim appears to have entered China, his isolated state’s biggest benefactor, for a rare trip abroad as tensions are running high on the peninsula, reports said on Monday. Picture taken through a window.

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Vehicles that are possibly part of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s convoy cross the Friendship Bridge over the Yalu River, which connects the Chinese city of Dandong with Sinuiju in North Korea, May 3, 2010. Kim appears to have entered China, his isolated state’s biggest benefactor, for a rare trip abroad as tensions are running high on the peninsula, reports said on Monday. Picture taken through a window.

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Police stop traffic near the Friendship Bridge before vehicles that are possibly part of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s convoy cross the bridge over the Yalu River, which connects the Chinese city of Dandong with Sinuiju in North Korea, May 3, 2010. Kim appears to have entered China, his isolated state’s biggest benefactor, for a rare trip abroad as tensions are running high on the peninsula, reports said on Monday. Picture taken through a window.

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FILE – In this Jan. 17, 2006 file photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, left, at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. A news report said Kim’s personal train has crossed the border into China early Monday, May 3, 2010, indicating that he may have begun a much-speculated trip there.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (centre) inspects a military installation. Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been rising since the mysterious sinking of a South Korean warship near the disputed sea border with North Korea on March 26, with suspicion falling on Pyongyang.

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