Kim Jong-il Arrives in Beijing

      May 06, 2010 08:15

      North Korean leader Kim Jong-il arrived in Beijing on Wednesday and apparently met with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People. It was the third day of Kim's China trip.

      A car carrying Kim was seen leaving the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse around 5 p.m. and entering the Great Hall of the People about 20 minutes later.

      A diplomatic source in Beijing said, "Since welcome dinners normally start at 7 p.m., it is highly likely that Kim attended the dinner after meeting with Hu for about an hour."

      But there is speculation that Hu was not available and the two meet Thursday instead. What is certain is that Kim had dinner with Chinese leaders like Chairman of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao, and Vice President Xi Jinping.

      On Thursday, Kim is expected to hold a series of talks with Chinese leaders and watch a performance of the Chinese classic "Dream of the Red Mansion" by a North Korean opera troupe alongside Hu at the Beijing TV Grand Theater.

      A convoy of vehicles allegedly carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and entourage drives along Changan Avenue in downtown Beijing on Wednesday afternoon. /Yonhap

      Before coming to Beijing, Kim stopped at Tianjin around 7:30 a.m., where he toured Binhai New Area, a local economic center, escorted by Zhang Gaoli, the local party secretary.

      He then changed cars and arrived in Beijing around 3:30 p.m., where he took a rest at Diaoyutai's No. 18 Villa.

      In the afternoon, when a convoy of vehicles carrying Kim and entourage arrived in Beijing, Changan Avenue and nearby roads in downtown Beijing were closed to traffic. The area near the Great Hall of the People was also under strict security, with armed police standing guard.

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