Kim Jong-un, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s son and heir-apparent, reportedly visited China Friday. The trip could signal Beijing's support for Kim Jong-un to succeed his father.
"North Korea has been signaling a power transition, and China has been signaling that they are fine with that,” says John Delury, who teaches International Relations at Yonsei University in Seoul. “This trip takes things to the next level."
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A spokesman for the Communist Party’s International Liaison Department, responsible for relations with Pyongyang, said he knew nothing about the reported visit. In the past, trips by North Korean leaders to China have been kept secret until they were over.