North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Makes Surprise Visit to China

Howard TerryMar 27, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly embarked on a secret visit to China, marking his first diplomatic visit since he took power in 2011.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will meet with Kim before the end of May to discuss the regime's denuclearization.

"Chinese train spotters worked out that various trains from the north east had been delayed etc".

Beijing has traditionally been the closest ally of secretive and isolated North Korea.

The armoured North Korean train pulled into Beijing under heavy guard, with later footage showing a vehicle driving away under police escort.

A source told the Japanese news agency Kyodo that a high-ranking North Korean figure appeared to be visiting China.

"If this meeting is confirmed, it may actually be more productive than a photo op between Trump and Kim in a few weeks", said Melissa Hanham, a researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, in Monterey, California.

It said that a special train that may have carried the official passed through the Chinese border city of Dandong on Sunday.

Here's the video tweeted by Stephen McDonnell.

Severe traffic regulations were enforced in Beijing on Monday.

At a time when China's President Xi Jinping seeks stability, North Korea's behavior has raised the spectre of war perhaps more than ever. Diplomats from the U.S., North Korea and its neighbors have since been shuttling across the globe to prepare for the visit.

On Chinese social media, some Dandong residents said there had been high security around the train station and said there was talk of Mr Kim passing through. Heavy security presence was seen today at the entrance to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse where top North Korean leaders have stayed on previous trips to Beijing. Observers in Beijing reported road and office closings consistent with a VIP visit to the Great Hall of the People, including police clearing tourists from Tiananmen Square.

Bloomberg quotes the State Department's cheeky response when asked if it was given advance knowledge of any Kim visit to China, "We'd refer you to the Chinese".

The younger Kim, who was educated in Switzerland, is not known to have travelled outside the country since assuming power in late 2011 after his father's death. The late leader also took a similar green and yellow train that was spotted on Monday for his son's visit.

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