Kim Jong-il Makes Rare Visit Abroad in Appeal to China Amidst Rising Tensions At Home and Abroad

Kim Jong-il, North Korea's leader, has arrived in China on a rare foreign trip that is being seen as an attempt to win financial and political support from his impoverished nation's only remaining ally.

Kim, on his first overseas visit since suffering a stroke in 2008, reportedly crossed the border in his luxury train early this morning before arriving in Dalian, a prosperous port city in north-east China.

China is becoming increasingly impatient with its troublesome neighbour, analysts say, but will bankroll Mr Kim to prevent chaos on its border.

‘Beijing has shown great reluctance to forsake pariahs,’ said Peter Beck, a Korean affairs expert at Stanford University in the US.

It is Mr Kim’s first trip abroad since 2008

Last time Kim Jong-Il had travelled to China was in 2006. The train had 17 heavily guarded carriages.

China is a major suppler of food, energy and funding to the reclusive Communist nation, and Beijing has the ability to influence the North decision making due to this.