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President Hu tells Kim to follow China

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives at Toronto International Airport to attend the G8 and G20 summits June 25, 2010. UPI/J.P. Moczulski.
Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives at Toronto International Airport to attend the G8 and G20 summits June 25, 2010. UPI/J.P. Moczulski. | License Photo

BEIJING, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Chinese President strongly suggested Kim Jong Il should follow China's example by opening North Korea's economy, a South Korean official says.

The official said Hu delivered the message during Kim's visit to Beijing last week, The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, reported. He said the president used much stronger terms than Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in a similar meeting with Kim in May, even using the term "market mechanism."

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"Socialist modernization is based on China's three-decade-long experience in reform and opening," Hu was quoted as saying. "Although self-reliance is important, economic development is inseparable from external cooperation."

Kim reportedly responded in kind, also talking about reform and opening the country. He introduced some market reforms several years ago but abandoned them because of the danger that an entrepreneurial class would threaten to bring down the regime.

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