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China invites North Korean leader for official visit

BEIJING, January 23 (RIA Novosti) - Chinese leader Hu Jintau has sent a letter to his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-il, inviting him to visit China, the Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

Hu's letter was delivered by Chinese communist party official Wang Jiarui, who made an official visit to the North Korean capital on Friday.

During the meeting with the Chinese diplomat, Kim announced Pyongyang's commitment to the principles of denuclearization and expressed his hope for peace on the Korean Peninsula, Xinhua reported.

"North Korea is committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and hopes for the peaceful existence of all interested parties," Xinhua quoted the North Korean leader as saying during the meeting with Chinese communist party official.

Hu's letter "warmly greeted" the North Korean leader and invited him "to visit China at any convenient time," Xinhua said. Hu also expressed his confidence that the Korean government and people would reach new and greater success in building a strong and flourishing state.

Noting that this year is the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and North Korea and has been named the "Year of Friendship between the two countries," Hu sent his "whole-hearted greetings and best wishes" to the government and people of North Korea for the upcoming lunar New Year.

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