North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KJI Leaves China for NK

Kim Jong Il's motorcade in Beijing on Wednesday (5 May) Photo: Yonhap News Agency/Dong-a Ilbo

Kim Jong Il and his entourage, to paraphrase Bob Seger,  got out of Beijing.  KBS reports that “security tightened around Beijing Station and along railroads leading out of the Chinese capital.”  Citing an anonymous source, KBS also reports that a Dandong hotel has been told to begin evicting its guests to accommodate KJI and his entourage.   Yonhap reports that KJI departed Beijing on Thursday afternoon.  It also reports that DPRK security agencies (MPS/KPIF, Railroad Security) were “on special alert” near the country’s border with China:

The North Korean train departed the rail station at 4:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. KST).

Earlier, a 40-vehicle motorcade that appeared to be carrying North Korean leader Kim left the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing at 4:10 p.m. and headed for Beijing Station.

The same motorcade reportedly carrying Kim and his entourage arrived in the Chinese state guest house on Wednesday afternoon before departing to the Great Hall of the People for what was believed to be a summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao in the evening.

Earlier Thursday, Kim reportedly visited an information technology complex in Beijing before meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao over luncheon at the Diaoyutai State Guest House.

“Kim’s motorcade moved in the direction of Beijing Station, though it is difficult to confirm his travel route and destination,” said a diplomatic source in Beijing.

According to intelligence sources in Seoul, North Korea has ordered its security, police and public officials near its Chinese border areas to remain on special alert May 3-6, triggering speculation that Kim’s Chinese trip may end on Thursday.

“Kim’s trip to China has been known only to a limited number of public officials in North Korea’s Chinese border areas. Considering the length of the special alert, Kim Jong-il is expected to return to North Korea on Thursday,” said a source in Seoul.

The limousine used to ferry KJI around in China. It is believed to be a modified Mercedes Benz S600. (Photo: Yonhap News Agency)

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