North Korea and China sign agreement on economic cooperation

North Korea and China signed an agreement on economic and technological cooperation during a visit by a high-ranking Chinese delegation to Pyongyang for the anniversary of the North's ruling party, official media reported Tuesday.

No details of the agreement, signed Monday by North Korean Foreign Trade Minister Rim Kyong Man and Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai, were revealed in a report by the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency.

China is the North's last major ally, and has used economic inducements and aid as an apparent incentive to keep Pyongyang involved in international nuclear arms talks.

Those talks, hosted by Beijing, reached a breakthrough agreement last month when the North agreed to abandon its nuclear programs in exchange for security guarantees and energy aid. But Pyongyang has cast the accord into doubt by still demanding a nuclear reactor for power.

More nuclear talks are to convene in early November, reports the AP. I.L.

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