BEIJING, May 27 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, visiting China, advocates an early restart of the stalled six-nation talks on his country's denuclearization, Xinhua reported.
The talks among China, the two Koreas, Japan, the United States and Russia to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program have not resumed since 2008 when the North walked away.
The official Chinese news agency said Friday Kim "advocates that the six-party talks on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue be resumed at an early time."
Kim made the remarks during talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing.
Hu was quoted as saying China, which is keen to restart the talks, wants the parties to remain committed to denuclearization and safeguarding peace and stability on the Korea Peninsula.
Kim said his country, which is facing a severe economic crisis and remains dependent on its main ally, China, "sticks to the objective of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula" and "sincerely hopes" relations with South Korea could be improved, Xinhua reported.
In Seoul, a South Korean official, responding to Kim's statement, urged the North, before resuming talks, to demonstrate its denuclearization commitment and take responsibility for two deadly attacks last year the Yonhap news agency reported.
"Our position remains unchanged that the North should show its change of attitude by deeds, not words," Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said.