Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday held talks with his counterpart of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong Il.
Kim is on an official goodwill visit to China and to attend a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the China-DPRK diplomatic relationship and the launch of the China-DPRK Friendship Year in Beijing.
Wen asked Kim to convey his greetings to DPRK leaders.
Wen said China and the DPRK were good neighbors and shared profound friendship.
"With our joint efforts, China-DPRK relations have developed soundly," Wen said.
"This works for the development of both countries and contributes to regional peace and stability," Wen said.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) holds a welcoming ceremony for his counterpart of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong Il at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2009. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
Wen said the DPRK was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with China. The two forged diplomatic relations on Oct. 6, 1949, days after the People's Republic of China was founded.
"Your visit coincides with 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relationship and the China-DPRK Friendship Year in Beijing," Wen said.
"The visit will help push development of bilateral relations and enhance friendship between the two peoples."
Wen said he would like to exchange views with Kim on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L3) holds talks with his counterpart of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong Il (R2) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2009. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)
Saying this was his first visit to China since taking office in April 2007, Kim first extended the regards of the DPRK leaders to Wen.
Kim congratulated China on successfully convening the top legislature's latest annual session.
He also hailed China's efforts to tide over the impacts of the global financial crisis and its fight against severe drought.
Kim reiterated that the DPRK would unswervingly support the Chinese government's stance on the Taiwan issue, Tibet-related issues and human rights.
Later Wednesday, Wen and Kim will attend the opening gala for the China-DPRK Friendship Year in Beijing.
During his five-day visit to China, Kim will also hold talks with other Chinese state leaders. Source: Xinhua