BEIJING--A Chinese tourist train entered North Korea for the first time on Saturday, carrying more than 400 passengers including a group of Finnish students, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.
The train embarked on the four-day tour from the Chinese province of Liaoning under a new arrangement with North Korea expected to attract tens of thousands of tourists, the agency reported from the provincial capital Shenyang.
The first train is mostly carrying tourists from China but also includes foreigners living in China, notably the Finns, resident in Guangzhou.
The tour comes amid heightened tensions between reclusive North Korea and South Korea, as Seoul has appeared increasingly suspicious that the North was behind the sinking of one of its naval ships last month.
It also follows reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il plans to visit China soon. He has travelled by train on previous such trips to China.
China has relatively close ties with North Korea and hosts the six-party nuclear disarmament talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear program.