China has been quick to send an invitation for the new North Korean leader to visit Beijing.
The Chinese President expressed his condolences over the death of Kim Jong-il at a ceremony at the North Korean embassy in Beijing.
Chinese authorities had already said it recognised Kim Jong-un as the new head of state in Pyongyang.
A foreign ministry spokesman said: “China and North Korea have always kept up high-level visits, and we welcome the North Korean leader to visit at a convenient time to both sides.”
In the city of Dandong, on China’s border with North Korea, tourists took a boat trip that provides a glimpse of their mysterious neighbour.
Some said they hoped the state would become more open under a new leadership.
One man said: “North Korea is too conservative. My feeling is they are always sealing themselves off from the outside world.”
Outside observers seem to have few clues about whether Kim Jong-un will have the inkling to change North Korea’s policy of isolation.