>> Under cover of night and heavy security, this massive caravan following a mysterious train ride sparked wide speculation on Monday that a high level North Korean official could be visiting Beijing. And now reports indicate that the official could be none other than Kim Jong-un in what would be his first known trip outside North Korea since taking power in 2011.
With a large police escort, the lengthy, late night motorcade made its way down Beijing's main East-West Avenue, from the Great Hall of the People where top Chinese leaders often meet visiting heads of state. Details of the visit, including its purpose, were not yet know. But Japanese media, citing sources close to the matter, said the visit was intended to improve frayed ties between Pyongyang and Beijing, which has backed tough sanctions against North Korea at the UN Security Council over its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Two sources in North Eastern China told Reuters that a North Korean visitor had crossed the Chinese border by train, which Japanese media described as a green 21-car train with yellow horizontal lines similar to the kind that Kim Jong-il rode when he visited Beijing almost 7 years ago. A source with ties to the Chinese military told Reuters that it was, quote, not possible to rule out the possibility that Kim was visiting Beijing but cautioned this was not confirmed.
When asked at a daily news briefing about reports of the visit, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said she was unaware of the situation.>> Rocketman.>> The unanounced trip to China comes ahead of a potential summit with US President Donald Trump, who decided earlier this month to meet the North Korean leader face to face after South Korean officials said Kim was willing to discuss giving up his nuclear weapons program.