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China expresses "deep condolences" on death of DPRK top leader


15:57, December 19, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday offered its "deep condolences" on the death of Kim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

"We are shocked to learn that DPRK top leader comrade Kim Jong Il passed away and we hereby express our deep condolences on his demise and send sincere regards to the DPRK people," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement when responding to a question about media reports on Kim's death last Saturday.

Ma said that comrade Kim Jong Il was the great leader of the DPRK people, and an intimate friend of the Chinese people, and he had made important contribution to developing the DPRK's socialist cause and promoting good-neighborly and cooperative relations between China and the DPRK.

"We believe the DPRK people will definitely be able to turn sorrow into strength and remain united as one to continuously push forward the socialist cause of the DPRK," he added.

"China and the DPRK will work together to continue to make positive contribution to consolidating and developing traditional party-to-party, state-to-state and people-to-people friendship between the two sides and maintaining peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region," said the spokesman.

According to media reports, Kim, who was general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army (KPA), died from a great mental and physical strain at 08:30 on Dec. 17 (2330 GMT Friday), on the train during a field guidance tour.

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