North Korea's Kim said to be in eastern China city
By JOE McDONALD, Associated Press Joe Mcdonald, Associated Press
BEIJING – China's premier says North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is in the country to learn from its reforms.
The confirmation that the secretive Kim was in China came from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who told South Korean President Lee Myung-bak that Beijing had invited Kim to study China's economic reforms, according to a statement by Lee's office.
Wen and Lee were in Japan for a three-nation summit.
Kim's visit is his third to China in a year, an unusual pace for a leader who rarely travels abroad. The visits underscore Kim's need to shore up support from China, the North's chief supplier of food and fuel and its main diplomatic protector.
China and North Korea want to resume six-nation talks on the North's nuclear program, while fellow participants South Korea and the United States say the North must first exhibit sincerity toward disarmament.
The U.S. State Department says it has no information on North Korean officials visiting China. U.S. officials plan to visit the North starting Tuesday to evaluate its food needs. The U.N. says 6 million people — a quarter of North Korea's population — need emergency help after bad weather hit crops.