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Senior Chinese Official Meets North Korea's Kim Amid Tensions

Dai Bingguo is China's most senior foreign policy official.
A top Chinese official has met with North Korea's Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang amid continuing high tensions over the recent shelling by North Korea of a South Korean island.

China's Xinhua news agency said that Dai Bingguo, China's most senior foreign policy official, and Kim "reached consensus" after "in-depth talks on bilateral relations and the situation on the Korean peninsula."

The report gave no further details.

China is North Korea's sole major ally and has come under increasing international pressure to try to defuse the tensions that spiked after North Korea's November 23 shelling of South Korea's Yeonpyeong island, which killed four people.

On December 8, U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accused China of not doing enough to rein in North Korea.

A day later, Mullen warned that Pyongyang represented a growing danger that must be stopped, but he also cautioned that any reaction must be proportional and not escalate the conflict.

compiled from agency reports