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North Korean Train Arrival in China Sparks Kim Trip Rumors

VOA News 03 April 2010

Reports of a North Korean train arriving in a Chinese border city have rekindled speculation that reclusive leader Kim Jong Il is preparing to visit neighboring ally China.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that a special train Mr. Kim uses on rare trips outside North Korea arrived before dawn Saturday in the Chinese city of Dandong. Later, Yonhap and other agencies said the train probably was just carrying cargo.

North Korea's own official news agency said Saturday that Mr. Kim had watched a performance in Pyongyang, but did not specify the date or time he attended the event.

South Korean officials said earlier this week there was a "high possibility" that a trip was being planned. Mr. Kim's trips are usually shrouded in secrecy and not reported by state media.

News of a possible visit had sparked hopes that Beijing could persuade Pyongyang to return to six-nation talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea abandoned the talks last year after the United Nations imposed sanctions in response to the regime's nuclear and long-range missile tests.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.



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