BEIJING (BNO NEWS) — The Chinese government on Monday said it was shocked by the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and offered its deep and sincere condolences to the North Korean people.
Ma Zhaoxu, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hailed Kim as the ‘great leader’ of the North Korean people and a ‘close friend’ of the Chinese people. He said Kim made important contributions to develop North Korea’s socialist cause and promote good neighborly and friendly cooperative relations with China.
“Shocked by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s death, we express our deep condolences and send sincere condolences to the Korean people,” Ma said. “We believe that the Korean people will turn their grief into strength, united as one, and continue to push forward the socialist cause of North Korea.”
The spokesman said China and North Korea will work together to continue and develop their friendship and to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
Earlier on Monday, the North Korean government announced that Kim died of a massive heart attack on early Saturday morning. He suffered an ‘advanced, acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a heart shock,’ while on a train for a ‘field guidance tour’, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
Kim ruled the Communist nation since the death of his father, Kim Il-sung, in 1994. KCNA described Kim Jong-un, Kim’s third and youngest son, as the “Great Successor” following Kim’s death, but gave no specific details although he is widely expected to take over from his father as the Supreme Leader.