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‘Strong possibility’ North Korea’s Kim Jong Un made surprise Beijing visit

in FAR EAST/POLITICS by

An armoured green with yellow horizontal lines train arrived in Beijing on Monday night. This event, including tightened security outside the train station, and tourists being ushered out of the capital’s Tiananmen Square, which usually signals a high-level meeting in the Great Hall of the People there, fed rumours that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited Beijing. Assuming it actually took place it was Kim’s first visit to a foreign country since succeeding his father, Kim Jong-il, as supreme leader of North Korea in December 2011 and it was a clear message sent to the world that despite rumours to the contrary, Beijing and Pyongyang remain close allies.

Although the details of the visit remain a closely guarded secret, Kim is believed to have met Chinese President Xi Jinping and possibly other top Communist Party leaders, including Premier Li Keqiang while in the city. There has been no official comment from North Korea, while China’s foreign ministry said it had “no information for the moment”, but more would “be published in due course”.

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