<font color="maroon" size=2><b>[Breaking News]</b></font><br>North Korea confirms Kim Jong-il's visit to China

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[Breaking News]
North Korea confirms Kim Jong-il's visit to China

North Korea’s state media confirmed today Kim Jong-il’s visit to China.

The Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch that Kim made an “unofficial” visit to China from May 3 to 7.

The report, however, made no mention of Kim’s meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao or Kim’s trip to Beijing. Sources in the Chinese capital have said the two leaders met Wednesday evening and Kim reportedly offered to return to the stalled six-party denuclearization talks. Kim was thought to be on his way home from Beijing via train.

The North Korean report instead said Kim traveled to northeastern cities of Dalian and Tianjin and visited industrial sites there.

It also said Kim was accompanied by some of the influential figures in North Korea, including Jang Song-thaek, brother-in-law of Kim Jong-il and a senior Workers’ Party official, first vice foreign minister Kang Sok-ju, and a Workers’ Party department director Kim Yang-gon.

North Korea usually reports Kim’s overseas trips after the leader has returned home.

By Yoo Jee-ho [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]
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조선중앙통신, 조선중앙방송 등 북한의 언론매체들이 김정일 국방위원장의 중국 방문 나흘만인 7일 오전 방중 사실을 처음으로 확인 보도했다.

이들 매체는 그러나 김 위원장이 랴오닝성 다롄(大連)시와 톈진(天津)시를 방문해 현지 산업시설을 둘러본 소식만 전하고, 베이징(北京) 방문 및 후진타오(胡錦濤) 국가주석과의 정상회담에 대해서는 일절 언급하지 않았다.

북한의 이 같은 태도는 천안함 사건과 6자회담을 둘러싼 한.미.중 3국간 사이의 미묘한 입장 차이와 민감한 기류를 의식한 것이라는 분석이 나온다.

중앙통신은 오전 9시2분 "김정일 동지께서 중국 공산당 중앙위원회 총서기이고 중화인민공화국 주석이신 호금도(후진타오) 동지의 초청에 의해 5월 3일부터 7일까지 중화인민공화국을 비공식 방문해 동북 지역에 대한 방문을 진행하셨다."고 밝혔다.


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