Posted June. 30, 2009 08:13,
The British daily Financial Times said yesterday that the heir apparent to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il visited China in the middle of this month.
The report came after an intensive two-day coverage on Kim Jong Uns alleged trip by the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, something which was officially denied by the Chinese government.
The Financial Times quoted military, intelligence and diplomatic sources as saying Kim Jong Un joined a delegation of senior military officials for a top-secret visit to Beijing by air June 10 for talks with Chinese officials.
Kim Jong Un reportedly accompanied Jo Myong Rok, first vice chairman of North Koreas powerful National Defense Commission, and fellow commission member and Kim Jong Ils brother-in-law Jang Sung Taek.
It is unclear if Kim Jong Un met Chinese President Hu Jintao but a source close to the visit said the heir apparent met Vice President Xi Jinping, the man expected to succeed Hu, as well as former President Jiang Zemin.
Kim Jong Un reportedly stopped by Guangzhou, Shanghai and Dalian before returning to Pyongyang June 17, a course resembling his fathers 2006 itinerary in China.
Prior to the Financial Times report, Asahi said the North Korean military delegation arrived in Beijing June 10 and met senior Chinese officials in a clandestine visit that took them to cities including Guangzhou and Dalian before they returned a week later.
The two reports basically contain the same elements except for Kims alleged meetings with Hu, Xi and Jiang.
Immediately after the Asahi report came out, the Chinese Foreign Ministry denied the report with a hint of sarcasm. Certain media run stories like a 007 (James Bond) series. I have no idea what they will be writing in the next episode, a ministry spokesman said.
Last week, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, who is Beijings chief negotiator to the six-party talks, reiterated his governments denial of the visit, saying, Kim (Jong Un) has never been to China.