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Iran Invites North Korea's Kim To Visit

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (front row, center) with Ministry of People's Security officials at an undisclosed location
An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says Iran has invited North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to visit Iran to further economic ties.

Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the invitation was made during a recent trip by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Ali Fatollahi.

He gave no more details.

Western governments are concerned over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, and fear that Iran's nuclear program is aimed at covertly developing the ability to make atomic weapons.

Kim is in China this week on his first trip abroad since a suspected stroke in 2008.

compiled from Reuters reports