SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea Monday stressed the need to improve relations with the United States at a meeting called to celebrate the birthday the following day of leader Kim Jong-Il, state media reported. Kim Yong-Nam, the communist states number two leader, underscored the need to put an end to the hostile relations between the DPRK (North Korea) and the US through dialogue and negotiations, the Korean Central News Agency said. Kim Yong-Nam also cited the Norths steadfast stand to improve inter-Korean relations and pave the way for reunification, as well as to improve living standards in the impoverished North . The call for an end to hostility with Washington, made at a national meeting of senior party, army and state officials, echoes a policy-setting New Year editorial. As a condition for returning to stalled six-party nuclear disarmament negotiations, the North wants a US commitment to hold talks about a formal peace treaty on the Korean peninsula. The North says it developed nuclear weapons to counter US hostility after the 1953 armistice, and it cannot give them up until the two sides formally make peace. As another precondition, it calls for the lifting of United Nations sanctions imposed following its nuclear and missile tests. Chinese negotiators held several days of talks with their North Korean counterparts last week, reportedly in an attempt to persuade them to drop the preconditions. The six-way talks chaired by China also group the two Koreas, Russia, the United States and Japan. Washington, Seoul and Tokyo say Pyongyang should return to the talks and take steps towards denuclearisation before other issues are discussed. South Koreas Yonhap news agency Monday said China was arranging a huge foreign investment deal in response to what it said was the Norths demand for economic aid before it returns to the disarmament talks it quit last April. Yonhap said Beijing would help its neighbour obtain more than 10 billion dollars in investment from Chinese banks and multinational firms.