An Internet news site specializing in North Korea claimed Wednesday that leader
Kim Jong Il may visit China next week, and a news agency said Beijing had invited
Kim to visit amid speculation that the North Korea may be preparing for a
The Daily NK Web site cited an unidentified person in China saying that
high-level North Korean military officials were on a visit to China to prepare
security arrangements for Kim's trip, scheduled for around Monday.
The person was quoted as saying that the trip may be related to the North Korea's
alleged preparation of a nuclear test, and that the Chinese leadership may have
invited Kim to dissuade him from a nuclear test.
The report quoted another individual in Japan, speaking of an intelligence report
that Kim may visit China around late August, and that the trip may be aimed
at informing China of the North Korea's plan to conduct a nuclear test.
Meanwhile, a report from South Korea's Yonhap news agency said China had
invited Kim to visit "as soon as possible."
The report, citing an unidentified North Korea watcher in the Chinese city of Shenyang,
said Beijing hopes the visit would resolve tensions over the North Korea's
recent missile launches.
Fears about a possible North Korean nuclear test have grown recently after
news reports last week cited U.S. officials saying suspicious activity had been
observed at a possible underground nuclear test site.
That comes after the North Korea test-launched a series of missiles last month over
international objections, drawing UN Security Council sanctions.
South Korea's Unification Ministry, which monitors the North, had no
information on any possible Kim trip. The Chinese Foreign Ministry had no
Earlier this week, Chinese President Hu Jintao spoke by telephone with U.S.
President George W. Bush about North Korea and the nuclear impasse.
North Korea has claimed it has nuclear weapons, but hasn't performed any
known test to confirm it has successfully engineered an atomic bomb.
The North Korea has stayed away from six-nation talks on its nuclear program since
November in anger over the U.S. blacklisting a bank where the Pyongyang held
accounts due to its alleged complicity in counterfeiting and money