(Cross-posted at North Korea zone.)
The reports are contradictory. Earlier this week South Korean officials were citing South Korean and Chinese officials who believed North Korea's leader was on one of his secretive trips to China. Some said he went to Shanghai, possibly even by jet (despite his reported dislike for flying). The Chinese then denied he was in Shanghai, and refused to confirm whether he was in Beijing.
Reuters reports that he passed through China on Tuesday on his way to Russia.
But the German press agency reports that Kim has disappeared. Here's the first part of the report:
Beijing - North Korean leader Kim Jong II has disappeared in China. His luxurious special train which reportedly crossed the border into China Tuesday morning at Dandong was nowhere to be found Wednesday.
'We really would like to know where he is, but we simply don't have a clue,' said a South Korean military attache, who added he felt he was left in the lurch by his own intelligence services.
Although the train was seen travelling in the direction of Beijing by officials at two railway stations, Kim did not show up in the Chinese capital, sparking a torrent of speculation.
Some wondered whether Kim had only travelled through China on his way to Russia - a scenario 'almost ruled out' by one South Korean diplomat, given the fact that a direct rail connection exists between the North Korean capital Pyongyang and Moscow.
South Korean news agency Yonhap said it learned that the despotic North Korean leader had overcome his deep-rooted fear of flying and had flown to Shanghai, without explaining why his personal train would be travelling across China without him.
'He's not in Beijing at any rate,' the diplomat said confidently.
Mysterious. It will be interesting to see where and when he turns up.
UPDATE: Reuters now reports Kim may be in the Southern Chinese city of Guangzhou... or maybe not... (Hat tip to Scott and Asiapundit.)
SATURDAY UPDATE: Reuters now reports North Korea's Kim rumored visiting China market zone, and Pravda reports: North Korea's Kim visits Chinese tech firms. So the theory now is that he went to Guangzhou, then on to Shenzhen, the special economic zone next to Hong Kong. Are the Chinese giving Kim the hard sell on the merits of economic reform and opening?