North Korean leader mourns deaths of Chinese tourists

By Alex Jensen

SEOUL (AA) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has promised "follow-up measures" after a bus accident claimed the lives of 32 Chinese tourists, official media reported Tuesday.

Four North Koreans were also killed in the crash, which happened in the reclusive state on Sunday.

Two more Chinese visitors were apparently left seriously hurt.

Kim paid an unprecedented visit to the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang early Monday morning, according to the North's KCNA news agency.

"He said that the unexpected accident brought bitter sorrow to his heart and that he couldn't control his grief at the thought of the bereaved families who lost their blood relatives," the media outlet reported.

Tourists provide a valuable source of income to North Korea, which is operating under heavy sanctions due to its past development of nuclear weapons.

The North's leader may be hoping to ease those economic restrictions on the back of this Friday's first inter-Korean summit since 2007.