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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

N. Korea, China Start Talks

BEIJING -- A Chinese envoy delivered North Korean leader Kim Jong Il a personal message from China's president on Thursday in the highest-level Chinese visit to its isolated ally since the North's nuclear test last week.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said he had no details of the message conveyed by State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan in Pyongyang but said the visit was "very significant."

Tang, traveling as an envoy for Chinese President Hu Jintao, arrived in the North Korean capital on Wednesday amid reports of a possible second test by the North.

Tang and Kim had "in-depth discussions on Chinese-North Korean relations as well as the prevailing situation on the Korean Peninsula,' Liu said at a regular news conference.

"This is a very significant visit, against the backdrop of major changes on the Korean Peninsula," Liu said. "We hope China's diplomatic efforts ... will bear fruit."

While China is traditionally reluctant to punish the North, it voted last weekend for the UN resolution imposing sanctions for the regime's Oct. 9 nuclear test.

Liu said the sanctions were not an end themselves.