by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Aug 3, 2012
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has met a leading Chinese official in Pyongyang, state media said Friday, his first reception of a senior foreign guest since taking power last December.
Kim on Thursday met a Chinese communist party delegation led by Wang Jiarui, head of the party's international department, China's Xinhua news agency and the North's official news agency reported.
The young leader, who took power after the death of his father Kim Jong-Il, asked Wang to give his regards to Chinese President Hu Jintao.
China is the North's sole major ally and its main trade partner and economic benefactor.
Kim, quoted by Xinhua, said it was the North's "unswerving will" to continue a friendship nurtured under his father's rule and to deepen their alliance.
Wang said Beijing was ready to work jointly to maintain high-level contacts, strengthen party-to-party exchanges and boost practical cooperation.
China is actively exploring investment opportunities in North Korea.
Pyongyang's dependence on Beijing has grown as international sanctions over its missile and nuclear programmes have restricted access to international credit and trade.
Towards the end of his life Kim Jong-Il travelled to China four times in less than two years, making his last visit in August 2011.
Observers expect the younger Kim, who last month reshuffled the powerful military to tighten his grip on his state, to make his first foreign visit as leader to China.
South Koreas's unification ministry said the meeting was Kim's first with a senior foreign official.
Xinhua quoted Kim as saying his domestic aim was "developing the economy and improving the people's livelihoods to let the Korean people lead a happy and civilised life".
There was no mention of possible aid following recent deadly storms and floods in the North, which killed almost 120 people and damaged thousands of hectares of crops.
The flooding represents a challenge for Kim, leading a nation that has grappled with severe food shortages since a famine in the 1990s killed hundreds of thousands.
UN agencies estimated last autumn that three million people would need food aid this year even before the latest deluge.
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
S. Korea close to expanding missile range: report
Seoul (AFP) Aug 2, 2012
South Korea and the United States are close to agreement on expanding the range of Seoul's ballistic missiles to better guard against threats from North Korea, a report said Thursday. Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin, in an interview with the Segye Times, said he would try to agree an increase by the end of this year on the current 300-kilometre (186-mile) limit. "The US has agreed on the n ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|