SEOUL - A GROUP of senior Chinese military officers arrived in Pyongyang on Saturday to begin a four-day visit to North Korea, state media reported.

China's state news agency Xinhua said the delegation led by Guo Boxiong, vice-chairman of the country's Central Military Commission, would attend events to mark the 60th anniversary of Chinese forces' entry into the Korean War.

The group met high-ranking military officers from the North, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) - Pyongyang's official media - said, before attending a banquet in their honour and the 'Arirang' mass gymnastics show.

In a written statement on his arrival, Mr Guo said he hoped the visit would boost the 'traditional friendship between the two countries", Xinhua reported.

The sole major ally of impoverished and isolated North Korea, China stood by its neighbour after the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, refusing to declare Pyongyang responsible.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has visited China twice this year, the last visit in August seen by many analysts as a bid for Chinese support for a dynastic succession to his son Kim Jong Un.

China delegation visits N.Korea