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Chinese President Holds Nuclear, Economic Talks in Pyongyang


Chinese President Hu Jintao says he has received assurances that North Korea will participate in the next round of talks on its nuclear weapons program.

In Pyongyang for three days of meetings, Mr. Hu said Saturday he has held frank and sincere talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. He told the official China Daily newspaper that Pyongyang pledged to honor its commitments and attend the six-party talks next month in Beijing.

Following a tour of a new Chinese-funded factory, the Tae-an Friendship Glass Factory along the banks of the Taedong River), Mr. Hu said Beijing will encourage Chinese companies to invest more in North Korea's isolated economy.

Experts say China wants North Korea to develop its economy to reduce the need for Chinese aid and to prevent a political collapse that could send a flood of refugees into China's northeast.

Mr. Hu is to depart Monday for a trip to Vietnam.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

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