China`s Hu urges N Korea to seek peace

Hu sent his congratulations to North Korea`s Kim Jong Un on his assuming the title of Workers` Party first secretary.

Beijing: Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday told a visiting North Korean official that the two countries should work towards "peace and stability" after a missile launch by Pyongyang, state media said.

Speaking in a meeting with Kim Yong-Il, a top official of North Korea`s ruling Korean Workers` Party, Hu called for greater cooperation with its traditional ally, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China is the sole major ally and a source of economic support for the isolated state.

"We will... Strengthen strategic links and coordination on major international and regional issues for the purpose of safeguarding lasting peace and stability of the Korean peninsula," Hu was quoted as saying.

His remarks follow the April 13 launch of what Pyongyang says was a communications satellite, but which the United States has called a disguised ballistic missile test. It said the rocket disintegrated minutes after launch.

The United States and other critics have said the launch violated United Nations restrictions imposed on North Korea. The UN Security Council strongly condemned it and said it would tighten existing sanctions.

The Xinhua report made no specific mention of the missile launch. However, China has previously voiced misgivings over its neighbour`s defiant act.

Speaking before the launch, Hu expressed "serious concern" about the plan during a meeting last month with US President Barack Obama.

In the meeting, Hu praised North Korea`s new leader Kim Jong-Un, saying he would lead the country to new achievements.

Kim Jong-Un took the reins of the poor and isolated state after the death in December of his father, longtime supreme leader Kim Jong-Il.


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