PYONGYANG, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday started an official goodwill visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) with an aim to promote bilateral ties and regional peace.
In a written statement released upon his arrival at the airport, Li said China and the DPRK are friendly neighbors, and that the traditional friendship between the two countries dates back to ancient times.
Under the care of the top leaders of both countries and thanks to concerted efforts of both sides, bilateral relations have been growing continuously and smoothly, he said.
China is ready to work together with the DPRK to continue to deepen exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in various fields so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples, Li said.
China appreciates the positive efforts of the DPRK in improving North-South relations as well as U.S.-DPRK relations and in promoting the resumption of the Six-Party Talks, Li said.
China will continue playing a constructive role and is ready to work with all the parties concerned to make positive contributions to pushing forward the denuclearization process on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining regional peace, stability and development, Li added.
Li expressed his belief that his current visit will further boost the traditional friendship between the two parties, governments and peoples and advance bilateral friendly and cooperative ties.
Li was greeted at the airport by DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), Kim Yong Il, an alternate member of the Political Bureau and secretary of the WPK Central Committee, as well as other senior DPRK officials.
During his stay here, Li is expected to meet with leaders of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea and the DPRK government to discuss bilateral ties as well as regional and global issues of common concern.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun said Thursday that Li's trip will further strengthen the traditional friendship between the two neighbors, enhance mutual trust and bilateral cooperation and inject new vigor into the development of China-DPRK relations.