South Korean government officials says they believe North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has left his country on a visit to China. The unnamed officials confirmed earlier reports by South Korean news outlets that Kim was heading to China on a rare visit.
YTN television reports Kim's son, Kim Jong-un, is traveling with his father. The North Korean leader is heading to China a day after former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrived in Pyongyang to win the release of an American man who has been imprisoned in the isolated regime since January.
Kim last visited China in May. China is North Korea's major ally and its most important source of food and energy. China's government had no immediate comment on Mr. Kim’s reported visit.
Some information in this story was provided by AFP and Reuters.