North Korea's leader appears poised to travel to China, as his country reels from what regional analysts describe as an economic policy fiasco. China has long been a generous patron of Pyongyang, but at least one Beijing scholar warns in blunt terms that China will not rescue the North this time.
A spokeswoman for South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said Wednesday there is a "high possibility" that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il will make a rare trip outside his country to visit China.
Mr. Kim's government is believed to be undergoing extreme strain because of the fallout from failed currency and market reforms. South Korean media speculated he may go to China to seek help in bolstering the economy.
At a forum devoted to the North Korean economy Wednesday in Seoul, regional political analysts warned the North's economic policy blunders are pushing the totalitarian system to the brink of a collapse.
Peking University Professor Zhu Feng, one of the forum participants, issued a frank warning to the North not to expect any large handouts from China.
"Bailing out North Korea's economy [is] easy. We have the capability. We have no intention," said Zhu.To read full Voice of America story — Go Here Now.
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