SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean and Chinese military officers meeting in Pyongyang on Saturday said ties between the communist neighbors will only grow stronger, state media reported.
A Chinese military delegation — led by Gen. Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of Beijing's Central Military Commission — arrived in North Korea on Saturday for a four-day trip.
A visit from someone as senior as Guo is deemed crucial as North Korean leader Kim Jong Il moves to transfer power to his son in what would be the country's second hereditary succession.
Top North Korean military officer Ri Yong Ho, speaking at a banquet Saturday, said Guo's visit "greatly encourages" North Koreans and showed that bilateral ties would grow stronger. Guo agreed that bilateral ties would be strengthened, the North's Korean Central News Agency reported.
Guo and Ri — who is vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea and chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army — earlier reviewed a guard of honor in a welcoming ceremony.
The Chinese delegation also joined Kim Yong Nam, president of Presidium of the North Korean parliament, in watching a performance of the "Arirang" song-and-dance extravaganza, APTN said