Kim’s ‘bitter sorrow’ as bus crash kills 32 Chinese
Published: 12:04 PM, 24 April 2018
Kim Jong-un was visiting injured passengers in hospital
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed "bitter sorrow" over a bus accident that left 32 Chinese tourists and four North Koreans dead.
The accident took place on Sunday night in North Hwanghae province, when the tour bus plunged off a bridge.
It is rare for North Korea`s tightly-controlled media to report on negative news, and for Kim to acknowledge the incident itself is even more unusual.
Kim “said that the unexpected accident brought bitter sorrow to his heart. "He couldn`t control his grief at the thought of the bereaved families who lost their blood relatives," KCNA, North Korean state news agency reported.
The North Korean leader was pictured visiting injured passengers in hospital. The report said he "personally learned about the treatment".
He also visited the Chinese embassy in Pyongyang, where he met the Chinese ambassador to North Korea Li Jinjun and "expressed his heartfelt condolences and sympathy."
China is the North`s main political ally and largest trading partner for long-time. Kim`s rapid visit to the injured people - and the reporting of it - is likely to be seen in part as a way of protecting his image among the Chinese population.
Chinese tourists make up an estimated 80% of foreign tourists to North Korea - providing an important source of currency for Pyongyang.
Kim earlier this year visited Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, his first known foreign trip since he took office in 2011.
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