Korean leader Kim Jong Il has met with a visiting Chinese envoy, in his first
reported contact with a foreign official in more than six months.
and North Korean news media say Mr. Kim met Friday in Pyongyang with Wang
Jiarui, the head of the Chinese Communist Party's international liaison
North Korean state media released photos of the rare meeting,
but no video footage.
Mr. Kim has not received any foreign officials
since last July. U.S. and South Korean officials say he suffered a stroke,
probably in August. North Korea has denied the claim.
news agency Xinhua quoted Mr. Kim as telling his Chinese visitor that Pyongyang
is working to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
The last round of
six-party talks in December in China ended without progress after North Korea
rejected a proposal on ways to verify its progress toward nuclear
The Xinhua report quotes Mr. Kim as saying his country wants
to strengthen cooperation with China to promote the six-party negotiation
The United States, Russia, South Korea and Japan are also
parties in the six-nation talks.
China is the closest ally of North
Korea. The two neighbors are marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic
relations this year.
Some information for this report was provided by
AFP and Reuters.