North Korea's number two leader has told former U.S. President Jimmy Carter that the reclusive state is committed to denuclearising the peninsula and resuming six-way talks, the North's state news agency said on Friday.

Carter left the North on Friday morning, KCNA said. The Carter Centre in a statement from the former president said that he was leaving Pyongyang with an American who had been convicted of illegally entering the country.

Kim Yong Nam expressed the will of the DPRK government for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the resumption of the six-party talks, KCNA said, referring to the meeting of the North's number two with Carter.

Carter's visit took place amid heightened tensions on the peninsula after the torpedoing in March of a South Korean warship, which Seoul blames on the North and which prompted Washington to announce expanded sanctions against Pyongyang.

Shortly after Carter arrived in Pyongyang, the North's reclusive leader, Kim Jong-il, left for ally China on a surprise trip that analysts believe may be to line up Beijing behind his dynastic succession plans.

Carter was leaving Pyongyang with Aijalon Mahli Gomes, who was arrested in January and sentenced to eight years of hard labour. KCNA said last month that he had tried to commit suicide.

(Editing by Ron Popeski)