China on Monday offered its "deep condolences" on the death of Kim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il [File photo]
"We are shocked to learn that DPRK top leader comrade Kim Jong Il passed away and we hereby express our deep condolences on his demise and send sincere regards to the DPRK people," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement on Kim's death last Saturday.
According to media reports, Kim, who was general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army (KPA), died from a great mental and physical strain at 08:30 on Dec. 17 (2330 GMT Friday), on a train during a field guidance tour.
Ma said that comrade Kim Jong Il was a great leader of the DPRK people, and an intimate friend of the Chinese people, and he had made important contributions to developing the DPRK's socialist cause and promoting good-neighborly and cooperative relations between China and the DPRK.
"We believe the DPRK people will definitely be able to turn their sorrow into strength and remain united as one to continuously push forward the socialist cause of the DPRK," he added.
"China and the DPRK will work together to continue to make positive contributions to consolidating and developing traditional party-to-party, state-to-state and people-to-people friendship between the two sides and maintaining peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region," Ma said.
At the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday evening, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with Pak Myong Ho, charge d'affaires of DPRK Embassy in Beijing.
Yang conveyed messages of condolence from the Central Committee of the Communist Part of China (CPC), the National People's Congress Standing Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission to the WPK Central Committee and its Central Military Commission, DPRK National Defence Commission, Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly and the DPRK Cabinet.
Yang said comrade Kim Jong Il was a great party and state leader of the DPRK and had dedicated the whole of his life and rendered immortal service to the DPRK's socialist revolution and construction.
The Chinese government and people were deeply saddened by the demise of "close friend" Kim Jong Il, who would be remembered forever by the Chinese people, Yang added.
Yang expressed the belief that the DPRK people would definitely remain united as one with the leadership of the WPK and comrade Kim Jong Un, turn their sorrow into strength, achieve new progress in socialist construction, and make new contribution to realizing the sustainable peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.
The DPRK expressed thanks for the condolences from China, saying that the passaway of comrade Kim Jong Il was a huge loss for the WPK and revolution, and the DPRK people would closely unite around the WPK and comrade Kim Jong Un to continuously advance the DPRK's socialist cause, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.