South Korea watching ‘very closely’

BEIJING/SEOUL – Events are unfolding quickly on the Korean peninsula with planned summits between North and South Korea and the United States, a presidential official in Seoul said on Tuesday, amid reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in China.

Bloomberg, citing three unidentified sources, reported on Monday that Mr Kim was in Beijing in what would be his first known trip outside North Korea since taking power in 2011. The unconfirmed visit also comes ahead of a potential summit with US President Donald Trump.

“The presidential Blue House is watching things in Beijing very closely, while keeping all possibilities open,” said the senior official in Seoul, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Improving bilateral ties between North Korea and China would be a positive sign before the planned summits, he said.

A Reuters reporter saw a convoy leave Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guest House, where senior foreign leaders often stay on visits to the Chinese capital, and drive north on Tuesday morning.