China and North Korea reached consensus on clashes with the South after "candid" talks, Chinese state media reported.
Analysts say this suggested Pyongyang probably agreed not to inflame the situation.
The meeting came as Beijing and Washington continued to trade barbs over how best to deal with tensions on the peninsula, with China rejecting US pressure to take its impoverished ally to task over last month's artillery attack on the South.
China's Xinhua news agency said State Councillor Dai Bingguo met the North's ailing leader Kim Jong-il for talks and "the two sides reached consensus on bilateral relations and the situation on the Korean peninsula".
The US has repeatedly called on Beijing to act after the North bombarded a South Korean island last month, killing four people.