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South Korea sent its nuclear envoy to China on Thursday for talks on ways to restart international negotiations to rid North Korea of its nuclear programs.

Despite the signs that North Korea is consolidating power behind Kim Jong-un, fears of instability remain high.

Chinese boatmen along a river separating North Korea and China told the Associated Press that North Korean police had ordered them to stop giving rides to tourists, saying they would fire on the boats if they saw anyone with cameras.

Kim Jong-un entered the public view only last year and remains a mystery to most of the world.

South Korea’s intelligence agency has told parliament members that an ad hoc committee in which Kim Jong-un is a vice chairman is expected to handle key state affairs before he formally becomes the country’s leader.

The agency predicts Kim Jong-un’s aunt Kim Kyong-hui, a key Workers’ Party official, and Jang Song-thaek, her husband and a vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission, will play larger roles supporting the heir, according to a lawmaker who spoke to the AP.

Associated Press Television News senior video journalist Rafael Wober in Pyongyang and AP writers Foster Klug, Hyung-jin Kim, Sam Kim and Eric Talmadge in Seoul; Lolita C. Baldor in Washington; and Korea Bureau Chief Jean H. Lee contributed to this article.