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North Korea's Kim visits China, Xinhua reports

By the CNN Wire Staff
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il waves after a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on August 24.
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il waves after a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on August 24.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kim Jong Il arrives in northeastern China, according to a brief report
  • He visited Russia earlier this week
  • He said he was prepared to return to nuclear talks without conditions
  • The United States and South Korea want a sign he is serious about denuclearization
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(CNN) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Il arrived in China Thursday after a visit to Russia, the state-run Xinhua news agency in China reported.

The brief report from Inner Mongolia said Kim was visiting northeastern China but gave no further details about what he was doing or who he was meeting.

The trips comes after Kim visited Russia earlier this week, where he said North Korea is ready to return to nuclear talks without preconditions, according to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's spokeswoman.

Medvedev and Kim talked for about two hours, Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalia Timakova told Russia's Interfax news agency.

"Kim Jong Il has expressed his readiness to resume the six-party (nuclear) talks without preconditions, and then during those talks (the North Koreans) will be ready to impose a ban on the production of nuclear materials and their testing," she said.

The last round of six-party talks took place in 2008. In addition to Russia and North Korea, the talks also include South Korea, Japan, the United States and China.

"I have quite a positive feeling about the meeting, which was sincere, rich in content and multi-faceted," Medvedev said on Russian TV.

While North Korea has called for the resumption of six-party talks without preconditions before, the United States and South Korea have insisted on a tangible demonstration from North Korea that it is serious about denuclearization.

Washington and Seoul did not immediately respond to Wednesday's developments.

It was first Kim's third visit to Russia. As on trips in 2001 and 2002, he travelled all the way from North Korea in his own armored train.

RIA-Novosti said Kim's train consists of 17 rail cars, plus four Russian cars that were added in Russia's Far East to transport local Russian officials and extra security guards and service personnel.