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North Korean leader leaves China after visit

By the CNN Wire Staff
A still from state-run TV shows N. Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (L) with Chinese President Hu Jintao on August 27, 2010.
A still from state-run TV shows N. Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (L) with Chinese President Hu Jintao on August 27, 2010.
  • The North Korean leader visited China, a state-run news agency reported
  • Kim Jong-Il hopes for an early resumption of six-party talks, a state-run news agency in China said
  • Kim praises Chinese people's hospitality, friendship

(CNN) -- Almost as soon as it was confirmed, the visit of reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il to China was over Monday.

State-run news outlets in China confirmed Kim's visit Monday.

Kim met with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, on Friday, the state-run Xinhua news agency of China reported Monday.

Kim said he hoped for an early resumption of six-party talks to ease tension between North and South Korea, the news agency reported.

Video: Kim Jong Il in China?
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • China

The six-party talks involve South Korea, North Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. Delegates to the talks had sought to disarm North Korea of nuclear weapons, but North Korea ended the talks last year.

The North acted after the United Nations Security Council condemned North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket. The Security Council said the launch violated a resolution banning ballistic missile testing. North Korea also expelled U.S. nuclear experts and U.N. nuclear inspectors after the Security Council's rebuke.

On Monday, the state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Kim as saying that North Korea "is not willing to see tensions on the peninsula." He also expressed a desire to "maintain close communication and coordination with China in pushing for an early resumption of the six-party talks."

Kim was in China from last Thursday until Monday, Xinhua reported.

Kim's visit to China was seen as related to his anticipated transfer of power to his son, Kim Jong-un, the Yonhap news agency of South Korea reported last week.

Upon leaving Monday, Kim sent a message of thanks to Chinese President Hu, which was quoted by the official Korean Central News Agency. He touted relations between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and China. "During our visit to the northeastern region of China where the revolutionaries of the elder generation of the two countries created the history and tradition of the DPRK-China friendship through the bloody struggle against imperialism we more keenly realized how dear the DPRK-Sino friendship is as it is cherished deep in the hearts of the two peoples and weathered all trials of history."

The North Korean leader predicted a long-lasting "friendship" between the nations and wished the Chinese people well. "I sincerely hope that the fraternal Chinese people would achieve greater successes in the efforts to build a comprehensively well-off socialist society on the basis of the scientific outlook on development under the leadership of the CPC with you as general secretary," his letter to Hu said.

Kim's trip coincided with former President Jimmy Carter's visit to North Korea, during which Carter secured the release of a U.S. citizen who had been sentenced to eight years hard labor for crossing the Chinese border into North Korea.

The man, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, arrived home with Carter Friday afternoon in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Chinese president, meanwhile, said "there had been some new developments" since the United Nations Security Council condemned the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

A South Korean investigation concluded that North Korea sank the ship. Several Western nations said they agreed with that conclusion, but the Security Council did not specifically name North Korea when it condemned the sinking in July.

The Xinhua news agency did not elaboration on what Hu was referring to when he spoke of "new developments."