Wen's North Korea trip seen as important

Oct. 5, 2009 at 7:29 AM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- North Korean Premier Kim Yong Il told his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao his country has never given up its goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

"We are willing to seek to realize this goal through bilateral and multilateral talks," the North Korean official said in his meeting with Wen, China Daily reported quoting the China Central Television.

Wen's trip to Pyongyang, which began Sunday, has revived hopes North Korea might return to the Six-Party Talks on its denuclearization. It is the first such trip by such a high-ranking Chinese leader in 18 years.

Wen was received at the airport by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il who embraced him, the report said. China is North Korea's closest friend.

China Daily quoted experts as saying China would not have sent such a senior official unless the visit was designed to address tensions over North Korea's nuclear activities.

North Korea's provocative acts have included nuclear testing and claims of progress in enriching uranium.

The Six-Party Talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States have stalled for about a year. However, lately Kim Jong Il has expressed a willingness to engage in "bilateral and multilateral talks."

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