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Wen Jiabao Holds Talks with His DPRK Counterpart Kim Yong Il

On March 18, 2009, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with his counterpart from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Yong Il at the Great Hall of the People. Both sides had an extensive, in-depth exchange of views on China-DPRK relations as well as international and regional issues of common concern in a cordial, friendly and candid atmosphere.

Wen first expressed welcome for Kim’s visit, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, and his attendance at the ceremony marking the launch of the China-DPRK Friendship Year in Beijing. Wen said China and DPRK are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers and the two peoples have supported each other and worked together in the socialist revolution and construction. There is a profound friendship between both sides, which has become their common precious treasure, he added. Recent years have witnessed frequent high-level visits, expanding economic and trade cooperation and dynamic cultural exchanges between both sides. The two countries have also maintained close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs and made positive contributions to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, said Wen.

"The Communist Party of China and the government have all along viewed the relationship with the DPRK from a strategic perspective," Wen said. He pledged China would make joint efforts with the DPRK to expand mutually beneficial cooperation to better serve the peoples under the principle of "inheriting tradition, aiming at the future, good-neighborly and friendly relations, and enhancing cooperation”. Wen put forth a four-point proposal to enhance ties with the DPRK. First, maintain high-level exchanges to cement a political foundation for the relationship. Second, deepen pragmatic cooperation to achieve common development. China will cooperate in various ways with the DPRK in trade and investment, mining exploration and infrastructure. Third, increase personnel and cultural exchanges and promote friendship and bilateral ties through the "China-DPRK Friendship Year". Fourth, strengthen coordination on major international and regional issues and push the six-party talks forward. China would like to continue its constructive role in realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Kim said he was very glad to attend the ceremony marking the opening of "China-DPRK Friendship Year" in Beijing and to pay a visit to China. He congratulated China on successfully convening the 2nd Session of the 11th National People’s Congress. He also hailed China's efforts to overcome the impact of the global financial crisis on the domestic economy. Kim said China’s enormous achievements in the socialist construction fully prove that the line set out by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, with Hu Jintao as general secretary, is completely correct. Kim said the DPRK valued its traditional friendship with China and regarded the friendship as precious treasure of both peoples. The DPRK would take the opportunity of the "China-DPRK Friendship Year" to further enhance friendly cooperation in all areas and carry forward DPRK-China traditional friendship for the benefit of both peoples.

Prior to the talks, Wen Jiabao held a welcoming ceremony for Kim’s visit at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman Suo Lisheng of the Central Committee of China Democratic League, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, Minister of Culture Cai Wu and Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Xiaoming attended the welcoming ceremony.

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