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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will sign several agreements with North Korean leaders during a visit to Pyongyang next week.
Jiabao is making a trip to North Korea next week to celebrate the 60th
anniversary of the establishment of relations between the two neighbors.
Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu says Premier Wen's visit will reciprocate
a visit to China in March by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
says during this visit, China will review its relations with North
Korea and "map out the development plan for the future
of bilateral relations."
She says the visit, which begins Sunday and ends Tuesday, will have concrete results, but gave no details.
The spokeswoman says the two sides will sign a series of cooperation agreements, dealing with trade, tourism and education.
She said China has been helping North Korea "within its capacity."
China is North Korea's biggest international ally and one of Pyongyang's largest aid providers.
did not directly say if Mr. Wen would raise the issue of the six-party
talks on the North Korean nuclear programs. She called the stalled
talks an "effective and practical mechanism". She repeated the Chinese
government's position that it would like to see an end to the programs
brought about through negotiation.
Mr. Wen's visit comes after
recent signs that North Korea is softening its stance and may be
willing to return to the six-party talks. Earlier this year, North
Korea declared the talks dead. Pyongyang tested a nuclear explosive
device and also launched a long-range missile, both in defiance of
United Nations resolutions.
But in the past few months,
Pyongyang has made several conciliatory gestures. Among them, it freed
two American journalists arrested for entering North Korea illegally
and has cooperated with South Korea on reuniting families separated
since the Korean War in the 1950s.