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N.Korea said not planning new nuke tests

AP | October 19 2006

SEOUL, South Korea - Thousands of citizens and soldiers rallied Friday in the North Korean capital to cheer the country's recent nuclear test, North Korea's official news agency reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, meanwhile, was reported to have told a visiting Chinese delegation that the communist nation wasn't planning more nuclear tests.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency said more than 100,000 people gathered in Pyongyang's central Kim Il Sung square to "hail the success of the historic nuclear test."

North Korea conducted its first nuclear test on Oct. 9, drawing international condemnation and U.N. sanctions.

It was unclear why the celebration came only more than a week later.

Kim told Chinese envoy Tang Jiaxuan that "we have no plans for additional nuclear tests," Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unnamed diplomatic source in Beijing.

Tang led a delegation that met Kim on Thursday in Pyongyang to deliver a message from Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Beijing on Friday, Tang said that his trip had "not been in vain." Chinese officials also expressed hope that the North would return to arms talks that it has boycotted since last year in anger over U.S. financial restrictions.

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