Kim Jong Il en route to Beijing?

May 21, 2011 at 12:10 PM
| License Photo

SHENYANG, China, May 21 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Il passed through Shenyang before a tentative visit with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing, officials said.

Kim was expected to visit industrial facilities in Shenyang, but his private train passed through the city's train station about 7 p.m. Friday and headed in the direction of Beijing, Yonhap news agency reported Saturday.

Kim toured a car plant Saturday in Changchun, the second stop on his secretive trip to China, but his private train failed to stop in Shenyang, where he was to tour industrial sites.

The trip is the third in a year for Kim, 69. While he has been photographed in China, neither China nor North Korea confirmed the visit, apparently for security reasons.

In August, Kim met with Hu in Changchun. The current trip comes as Kim prepares his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, as his successor. He reportedly wants to win Beijing's support for his power succession plan.

Kim named Jong Un vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party and a four-star general last year in what analysts believe is the clearest move yet to make him North Korea's next leader.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korea blasts arrival of U.S. submarine in South Korean port
Putin reassures PM Alexis Tsipras after 'no' referendum vote in Greece
South Korea rescues 5 North Korean sailors
F-16, Cessna planes collide mid-air in South Carolina
Donald Trump deletes retweet about Jeb Bush's wife