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N. Korea is open to more talks

SHARE N. Korea is open to more talks

BEIJING — The Chinese government Wednesday finally acknowledged the secretive visit of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, and announced he would continue with the six-nation talks organized by China to defuse North Korea's nuclear standoff with the United States.

Until Wednesday, China had refused to confirm that Kim was even in Beijing, despite various reports and much tangible evidence of his presence. But after Kim left Beijing by train on Wednesday, the official Chinese news media rushed out reports about the "unofficial visit."

The accounts offered few hints of any major breakthroughs but suggested that North Korea was firmly committed to more talks. Kim told his hosts that he wanted a peaceful resolution to the crisis prompted by his country's nuclear program and that he would be flexible and patient in pursuing the six-nation negotiations, involving North and South Korea, China, Japan, the United States and Russia, the Chinese state media reported.

Reports in the South Korean news media said Chinese officials had urged Kim to be more flexible in negotiating with the United States. The reports also said Kim was willing to resolve the nuclear dispute during the next round of talks, scheduled for no later than June, but offered no specifics.

Kim arrived in Beijing on Monday morning on his personal train and met with the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, at the Great Hall of the People, and later attended a banquet with high-level officials. He also met with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and former President Jiang Zemin, who remains the leader of China's military.