News World North Korean train reportedly left Beijing
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North Korean train reportedly left Beijing

A train believed to be carrying a North Korea delegation arrives in China. Photo: NHK World
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A Japanese news agency says a train believed to be used by high-level North Korean officials has left the Beijing station.

Kyodo News reported on Tuesday afternoon the train had departed.

The train’s arrival on Monday had sparked speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was visiting China.

A foreign guesthouse in Beijing had heavy security overnight and escorted vehicle convoys were seen near the guesthouse. A limousine was then seen entering the train station on Tuesday afternoon.

Kim has summits planned with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in late April and with US President Donald Trump by May.

Kim Jong-un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Photo: Getty

While there has been no word of a similar meeting with Chinese leaders, China has been one of North Korea’s most important allies even though relations have recently chilled because of Kim’s development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

A vehicle convoy entered the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Monday evening and a military honour guard and heavy security were seen later. That followed reports from Japanese network NTV and public broadcaster NHK of a special North Korean train arriving in Beijing under unusually heavy security.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said she was not aware of the situation and had no further comment. North Korea’s state-run media had no reports of a delegation travelling to China.

Heavy security was reported at the Friendship Bridge before the train passed from North Korea to China, and there were reports of it passing through several stations on the way from North Korea to Beijing.

NTV reported the green and yellow train appeared very similar to the one that former North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong Un’s late father, took to Beijing in 2011 and has 21 cars.