May 17, 2010 10:59
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il cut short his visit to China early this month by one day, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Sunday quoting a South Korean government source.
Kim arrived in Beijing on May 5. After talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao, he left the Chinese capital on the afternoon of May 6 and arrived back in North Korea the following afternoon.
According to the Japanese daily, Kim had been scheduled to watch a performance by a North Korean opera troupe alongside Hu in Beijing on the night of May 6 and to leave the next day.
"It's uncertain why Kim cut short his schedule, but the South Korean government speculates that his meeting with the Chinese leader may have ended in disagreement," the daily said.
"When it briefed South Korea, the U.S., and Japan on the outcome of the Kim-Hu summit, the Chinese government did not specify any details or amounts of economic assistance to the North," the paper said. "This contrasts with China's announcement in October last year of a US$30 million grant-in-aid to the North for various projects including the construction of a bridge in the border area which Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promised when he was in Pyongyang at that time."
The source said Kim failed to express support for a preliminary meeting for the six-party nuclear talks contrary to the South Korean government's expectations.
"Maybe Kim was upset that China mentioned the succession and reform and opening of its economy," the paper quoted the source as speculating.
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