Kim Jong-Il arrives in China on train

Amid growing tensions with the US over its N-programme, NKoreas`s reclusive leader Kim Jong-Il arrived in China on his `personal train`.

Updated: May 03, 2010, 17:56 PM IST

Beijing: Amid growing tensions with the US
over its nuke programme, North Korea`s reclusive leader Kim
Jong-Il who rarely steps out of his country today arrived in
China on his `personal train` as he has aversions to air
travel.

China is regarded as Pyongyang`s close ally. North
Korea ties with South Korea has also strained over the sinking
of naval ship close to the Communist nation`s coast.

Kim, who had aversion to air travel arrived in China
by his personal train and expected to visit Shanghai expo and
his arrival was confirmed by the Chinese railway officials at
the Friendship bridge near the border between the two
countries.

Tourist operations between the two countries were
stopped during his arrival. This his first trip in four years
to China.

Beijing continued to maintain close relations with
the estranged Communist country providing generous financial,
food and fuel assistance.

His visit to China were always shrouded in secrecy
and often confirmed only after his return to Pyongyang.

Considering Beijing`s close ties, US and its allies
often looked for China`s support in the six party negotiations
aimed roll back Pyongyang`s nuclear programme threatening
Japan and South Korea.

North Korea is currently refusing to return to
six-party talks. Tensions are also running high with South
Korea, after sinking of one of its warships last month in
which 46 sailors were killed.

South Korea has said that the talks could not
restart if evidence emerges that North Korea was responsible
for sinking the warship.

Significantly Kim`s visit is taking place two days
after Chinese President Hu Jintao met South Korean President
Lee Myung-Bak in Shanghai where Bak came to attend the Expo
inauguration.

Hu also met North Korea`s number two leader Kim
Yong-Nam on the sidelines of the World Expo.

Speculation is rife the Kim may visit the Expo.
Observers here say that that Kim is also expected to
seek economic assistance from Beijing to deal with soaring
inflation in his country aggravated by bungled currency
reforms last year.

PTI