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China, N.Korea agree offshore oil development
Updated: 2005-12-25 09:24

China and North Korea on Saturday signed an agreement to develop offshore oil resources jointly, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan signed the deal with his North Korean counterpart Ro Tu Chol, who was on a four-day visit to Beijing, the Xinhua news agency said.

The report did not say when or where the neighbours would drill for oil.

Zeng said relations this year between the two countries had progressed in economic cooperation and trade, and the Korean nuclear issue.

China has hosted six-party talks, currently stalled, with the United States, Russia, Japan and South Korea demanding that North Korea abandon its nuclear ambitions.

N.Korean vice premier arrives in China for talks with top leaders

BEIJING (AFP) - North Korean vice premier Ro Tu Chol arrived in Beijing for a four-day visit, state media reported, during which he is expected to hold talks with China's top leaders.

"During the visit, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and vice premier Zeng Peiyan are expected to meet with him," Xinhua news agency reported, without elaborating.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular press briefing Thursday that the Chinese leaders and Ro will discuss the two countries' bilateral relations and "issues of common interest."

Japanese media have reported that the North Korean delegation will meet with Japanese foreign ministry officials in Beijing to discuss various thorny issues that are preventing the two sides from normalising diplomatic ties.

These issues include North Korea's past abduction of Japanese nationals and its nuclear program.

But Qin told reporters Thursday that the visit was unrelated to Japan.

"I don't see any connection between the visit and the talks between Japan and the DPRK (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea)," Qin said.

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