Kim Jong-Il Visits China to Discuss Strategic Cooperation

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It's confirmed: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il visited China over the weekend. It's his second visit to China this year. We told you earlier that the visit was widely suspected—but, as with past visits, state media didn't acknowledge the visit until it was already over. Kim went to China to discuss strategic cooperation, and some speculate he also wanted to discuss the potential succession of his son to power.

Chinese state-run media have confirmed that North Korea’s reclusive leader Kim Jong-Il visited China over the weekend. Kim met Chinese leaders, including head of state Hu Jintao, to discuss bilateral and regional issues.

Chinese television showed the elderly Kim in talks with Hu. The two reportedly agreed to push forward their friendship and pragmatic cooperation.

Chinese state media reported that the two agreed to work towards the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a line Beijing seems keen to push. The North reportedly conducted nuclear weapons tests in 2006 and 2009.

The leaders also agreed to deepen economic ties and strategic communication.
North Korea is isolated from most of the international community, and China is the communist state’s only major supporter.

No official mention was made of Kim’s succession plans. But some media reports say Kim’s youngest son, Kim Jong-un, accompanied him—and the trip may have been to prepare his son to eventually become North Korea’s next leader.

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