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DPRK Backs Peace in Asia and World

North Korea will join China in new efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region and the world at large.

Visiting Minister of the People's Armed Forces of the DPRK (North Korea) Kim Il-chol made this statement during Tuesday's meeting with China's top legislator Wu Bangguo. Kim said he hopes his visit will promote bilateral relations.

This year China and North Korea mark their 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Wu suggested both sides should enhance understanding and trust, strengthen exchanges and deepen overall cooperation in various fields. Wu lauded frequent visits by the leaders of the two countries, saying such interaction ensures long-term and stable progress in relations.

Kim's visit has drawn keen attention, following so soon after US National Security Council Adviser Condoleezza Rice's visit to Beijing last week.

Analysts said that both the United States and North Korea, the two key players in the nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula, hope to work closely with China to study various proposals and ensure coordinated steps are taken in addressing the nuclear issue and related concerns.

Wu, during Tuesday's meeting, also reiterated China's stand on the nuclear issue, according to a Chinese defense ministry spokesman.

The fourth round of six-party talks will take place in Beijing in September, involving North Korea, the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

Kim Jong-il, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, paid an unofficial visit to China in April. He expressed hopes his country would continue to be patient and flexible and actively participate in the six-party talks process, and make its own contributions to their progress.

Two days later, US Vice President Dick Cheney arrived.

Kim Il-chol and his delegation arrived in Beijing on Monday at the invitation of Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan, who is also vice chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Liao Xilong, director-general of the General Logistics Department of the People's Liberation Army, also met with Kim Tuesday morning.

(China Daily July 14, 2004)

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