Kim tours China to study economy

North Korea's secretive leader, Kim Jong-il, toured east China yesterday, continuing a visit that suggests he is taking fresh interest in the success of reforms in Asia's biggest economy and his isolated country's only major benefactor.

China's leaders have repeatedly prodded Kim to open up North Korea's economy, something analysts say he has been reluctant to do.

Premier Wen Jiabao told South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Tokyo that Kim was travelling through China to study "economic development", Yonhap News quoted a presidential aide as saying.