Vietnam Time

4/26/2018 9:33:58 AM

North Korea's Kim sees off train repatriating bodies of Chinese tourists

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un personally saw off a train repatriating the bodies of dozens of Chinese tourists who were killed in a bus accident as he issued an apology to Beijing over the tragedy, state media reported on Thursday (April 26th).

North Korea's KCNA news agency ran photos of Kim Jong Un visiting survivors of the crash. (AFP Photo)

Thirty-two Chinese tourists and four North Koreans perished when a bus they were travelling in plunged off a bridge south of Pyongyang on Sunday night, according to Chinese officials. Two other Chinese nationals were injured.

In two new dispatches on Thursday morning, the North's KCNA news agency said Kim went to Pyongyang's station on Wednesday evening "to see off a special purpose train carrying the bodies of Chinese who were killed and the wounded in a tragic traffic accident".

The KCNA report described Kim personally making arrangements for the train and offering "words of consolation" to the survivors.

A separate report from KCNA carried a "message of consolation" from Kim to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"We make a deep apology to the Chinese comrades for the pain which cannot be alleviated with any word, consolation and compensation," KCNA quoted the message as saying.

KCNA ran a similar personal apology from Kim on Tuesday after the North Korean leader visited survivors in hospital and called on the Chinese embassy.

China is by far the biggest source of tourists for the North, with direct flights and a long land border connecting the neighbour, and tens of thousands are believed to visit every year, many crossing via train through the Chinese border city of Dandong./.

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