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Kim Jong Il meets Xi Jinping
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He hailed the successful Beijing Olympic torch relay in Pyongyang.

The Chinese vice president expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the support, which he described as a token of the deep feelings and profound friendship the people of North Korea nurture toward the Chinese.

China is taking active steps to rebuild the quake-affected areas, he said, adding that his country is confident and fully capable of achieving success in combating the natural disaster while maintaining social and economic development.

China is capable of hosting a high-level Olympic Games with unique characteristics, Xi emphasized.

He said the traditional friendship between China and North Korea was fostered by earlier generations of leaders from both countries and forged with the blood of the two peoples.

The people of the two countries have always understood, sympathized, supported and helped each other, said Xi, adding that the China-North Korea friendship is inalterable and has withstood international flux.

He said China is ready to work with North Korea to add momentum to the development of bilateral relations.

China is ready to maintain high-level contact and deepen trade and economic cooperation with North Korea, he added.

Xi made special mention of the China-North Korea friendship year to beheld jointly in 2009. He also proposed the two countries strengthen coordination on regional and international issues of common concern.

Kim said the North Korea-China friendship is an invaluable heritage handed down by the previous generations of revolutionaries of either nation. This friendship has been and will always be an invaluable treasure, he added.

It is the firm and unchangeable stance of North Korea to unswervingly work for the development of the traditional North Korea-China friendship, the top North Korea leader pledged.

The year 2009 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, which will jointly host North Korea-China friendship year activities.

North Korea is ready to take this opportunity to join hands with China to further advance friendly and cooperative mutual relations, Kim said.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2008)

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