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.

Earlier, Kim expressed regret about his country's nuclear test to a Chinese delegation and said Pyongyang would return to international nuclear talks if Washington backs off a campaign to financially isolate the country, a South Korean newspaper reported Friday.

If the U.S. makes a concession to some degree, we will also make a concession to some degree, whether it be bilateral talks or six-party talks, Kim was quoted as telling a Chinese envoy, the mass-circulation Chosun Ilbo reported, citing a diplomatic source in China.

Kim told the Chinese delegation that he is sorry about the nuclear test, the newspaper reported.

The delegation led by State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan met Kim on Thursday and returned to Beijing later that day — ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's arrival in the Chinese capital Friday. China is viewed as a key nation in efforts to persuade the North to disarm, as it is the isolated communist nation's main trading partner.

North Korea has long insisted that the U.S. desist from a campaign to sever its ties to the international financial system. Washington accuses Pyongyang of complicity in counterfeiting and money laundering to sell weapons of mass destruction.

The North has refused since last November to return to the nuclear talks, which also include China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.