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Li meets North Korean leader

Oct. 24, 2011 at 11:16 PM

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Il expressed hope the stalled six-nation talks on the North's nuclear disarmament would restart soon.

Kim made the comment during his meeting in Pyongyang with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

China has been urging the North to improve its strained relationships with the United States and South Korea.

The six-nation talks on North Korean denuclearization have been stalled since the North walked out to protest U.N. sanctions. The countries involved in the talks are the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan.

Li's visit to North Korea comes against the backdrop of meetings in Geneva between U.S. and North Korean officials for reviving the nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Kim said North Korea hoped the six-nation talks are restarted as soon as possible, Xinhua said, but gave no details.

Li was quoted as saying North Korea this year has adopted a series of active measures to maintain dialogue and contact with relevant parties, and many times reiterated its support to the resumption of the nuclear disarmament talks without preconditions, and to the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, Xinhua said.

Li said China is willing to continue to play a constructive role in helping improve the ties between the two Koreas.

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