Kim Jong-il Shows Unusually High Profile in China

After his surreptitious journey across the border, Kim Jong-il is now stepping out in public in China on a rare visit. From South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo:

Kim also publicly ventured out of the hotel three times, taking with him a convoy of about 40 vehicles for protocol and security reasons. During his earlier visits, he tried to avoid exposure as much as possible by reducing the number of vehicles.

His attendance at a welcome dinner hosted by the Chinese government at its guest house in Bangchuidao on Monday evening and his visit to the Dalian Economic and Technological Development Zone and port facilities the following day were in effect public events.

It was nothing like what anyone had expected. Experts had predicted Kim would stay in China for three quiet days in view of the difficulties he faces at home and abroad.

See a summary of Chinese news coverage of his visit from Adam Cathcart’s blog. See also:
– “North Korea’s Kim visits Chinese port city, Tianjin” from Reuters
– “What Does China Want from Kim Jong-il?” from Chosun Ilbo
– “Kim reportedly in Beijing for talks” from Global Times.

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