North Korea says its leader Kim Jong Il has attended a Lunar New Year concert, days after he hosted a foreign dignitary.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday that other top officials also attended the concert.  The agency did not specify when the event was held.

Chinese state media on Friday reported that Mr. Kim met a visiting Chinese envoy in Pyongyang.

It was Mr. Kim's first reported encounter with a foreign dignitary since August, when U.S. and South Korean officials say he suffered a stroke.  North Korea has denied the claim and released a series of undated photos to show that Mr. Kim is in good health.

Also on Tuesday, state media in North Korea and Russia reported the arrival of a delegation of Russian officials, including Moscow's deputy foreign minister, Alexei Borodavkin.

It is not clear whether Borodavkin was among those foreign dignitaries who attended the Lunar New Year concert with Mr. Kim.

Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency says Borodavkin will meet with North Korea's top nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye Kwan, during his four-day visit.  The report says the two will meet Thursday and discuss six-party talks on ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.

China is the host of six-nation talks.  In addition to Russia and North Korea, the negotiations also include South Korea, Japan and the United States.
The talks ground to a halt in the final months of George W. Bush's administration last year when negotiators could not agree on ways to verify the North's declared nuclear activities.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP.