Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Special North Korean train reportedly crosses Chinese border

Special North Korean train reportedly crosses Chinese border

In March previous year, Kim travelled to Beijing in his first foreign trip since becoming North Korea's supreme leader following the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011.

Hours after a mysterious North Korean train was spotted crossing into China late Monday, Chinese state media confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un was making his first visit of the year to see Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Kim's birthday is reportedly on Tuesday, although that has never been confirmed by Pyongyang, and a visit by him to China would be likely to heighten speculation about a second Kim-Trump summit.

Kim - whose birthday is reportedly on Tuesday, although that has never been confirmed by Pyongyang - visited China three times past year to pay his respects to Xi.

This is Kim's fourth trip to China.

US President Donald Trump has said that a location for another summit with North Korea is being negotiated.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency, citing an unspecified source familiar with North Korean issues, said that a North Korean train possibly carrying a "high-level" official had crossed the border into China at 10.15pm. The closest confirmation came in 2014 when former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman famously sang "Happy Birthday" to the North Korean leader during a visit in Pyongyang.

But Japan's Kyodo news agency said hotel guests in Dandong had not been allowed to enter rooms facing the river that forms the border on Monday afternoon, in what sources described as "an apparent move to prevent the train from being seen".

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At the June summit in Singapore, the two leaders signed an agreement to work towards the denuclearisation of the peninsula.

"We're negotiating a location".

North Korean leader but declined to reveal its contents.

However, he said the North would be forced to take a different path if the United States "continues to break its promises and misjudges the patience of our people by unilaterally demanding certain things, and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure".

"It will be announced probably in the not too distant future", he said of a summit with Kim.

China is the North's most important economic and diplomatic backer, despite anger over its neighbour's nuclear and missile programmes.

Culminating in late 2017, Pyongyang carried out six atomic blasts and launched rockets capable of reaching the entire U.S. mainland, but has now carried out no such tests for more than a year.

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