POSTED: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 8:17am
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 11:46am
NBC News — North Korea's secretive leader Kim Jong Il reportedly arrived in Beijing Wednesday for a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao. A motorcade, believed to be carrying the North Korean leader was seen driving from the state guesthouse compound to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Wednesday afternoon. Beijing police were posted every 50 yards along the route and closed the road to traffic for the motorcade to pass down the Central Avenue.
Beijing is North Korea's most vital diplomatic ally and economic supporter and is desperate to prevent a chaotic collapse of its hardline communist neighbor. Kim rarely makes foreign trips and his third visit to China in just over a year underscores the alliance with that country. China's Foreign Ministry has refused to confirm Kim's presence in China, although Premier Wen Jiabao has said China invited him to study and hopefully adopt Beijing's market-oriented reforms.