Kim Jong-un plans to visit Beijing later this year: report
TOKYO (Yonhap) -- North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong-un, is seeking to visit Beijing later this year amid tightening international sanctions on Pyongyang due to its recent failed rocket launch, a local report said Sunday.
North Korea is also believed to be preparing to conduct another nuclear test after ones in 2006 and 2009, which brought strong sanctions by the U.N. Security Council.
Kim Yong-il, who is in charge of international relations at the North's ruling Workers' Party, visited Beijing in late April to convey to Chinese leader Hu Jintao Kim Jong-un's plan to visit the Chinese capital, Japan's Nihon Keizai newspaper reported.
Hu welcomed the proposed visit to Beijing by Kim Jong-un, who took over after the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il in December, according to the daily.
Kim Jong-un apparently wanted to begin diplomacy with China, the North's sole ally which serves as the biggest benefactor for the impoverished North, under the assumption that the young leader in his late 20s has already consolidated power to fill the vacuum created by his father's death, the report said.
Hu, for his part, wanted to convey his wish that North Korea will refrain from going ahead with another nuclear test and instead focus on economic reform to help alleviate poverty, the report said.