China on Monday offered its “deep condolences” on the death of Kim Jong Il, the top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
“We are shocked to learn that the top leader of the DPRK, comrade Kim Jong Il, passed away and we hereby express our deep condolences on his passing and send our sincere regards to the people of the DPRK,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement on Kim’s death.
According to reports from the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim, who was general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), died from “great mental and physical strain” at 08:30 on Dec. 17 (2330 GMT Friday) on a train during a field guidance tour.
Ma said that comrade Kim Jong Il was a great leader of the people of the DPRK and an intimate friend of the Chinese people, and he had made important contributions to developing the DPRK’s socialist cause and promoting good-neighborly and cooperative relations between China and the DPRK.
“We believe the people of the DPRK will definitely be able to turn their sorrow into strength and remain united in order to continuously push forward the socialist cause of the DPRK,” he added.
“China and the DPRK will work together to continue to make positive contributions for consolidating and developing the traditional party-to-party, state-to-state and people-to-people friendships between the two sides and maintaining the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region,” Ma said.
On Monday evening, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with Pak Myong Ho, charge d’affaires of the DPRK Embassy to China, at the Chinese Foreign Ministry.