Kim Jong Il 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
A top Chinese foreign policy official met Thursday with North Korea's Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang amid the continuing military crisis on the Korean peninsula.
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China's official Xinhua News Agency did not immediately say what State Councilor Dai Bingguo discussed with Kim. But China is under heavy international pressure to defuse the tension, which spiked with North Korea's recent artillery attack on a South Korean island near the Koreas' disputed sea border. The barrage killed four South Koreans.
North Korea, which has few other allies, depends heavily on China for economic assistance and diplomatic support. China fought on North Korea's side during the 1950-53 Korean war.
The Kim-Dai meeting was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, North
Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said, and they discussed
ways to further strengthen the two countries' relations. The agency gave
no details about whether they discussed North Korea's recent artillery
Meanwhile, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced a visit to North Korea next week, an attempt to help ease soaring tensions.
"I am increasingly concerned with the recent actions by the North
Koreans, which have raised tensions and are contributing to instability
on the Korean peninsula," Richardson said in a statement. "If I can
contribute to the easing of tension on the peninsula, the trip will be
well worth it."
Pyongyang on Thursday issued a stark reminder of the still fresh anger
between the rivals, underlining its claim to waters around the island it
shelled two weeks ago and accusing the United States of orchestrating