Reclusive North Korean Leader Visits Russia for Energy Talks

World | August 20, 2011, Saturday // 16:28|  views

Reclusive North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, is in Russia for the first time since 2002. File photo

The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, arrives on an official visit to Russia Saturday, according to the Kremlin's press center.

This is his first trip to Russia since 2002 with Kim Jonh-il being very reclusive in the last years.

According to BBC, his train has arrived in the border town of Khasan in the Russian Far East, where he is to hold talks with President Dmitry Medvedev in the coming days.

Likely topics of the discussions include the possible resumption of international talks over North Korea's nuclear program and talks with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom about a pipeline through its territory to South Korea.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports the North Korean leader is expected to visit a dam north of Vladivostock, before holding summit talks with Medvedev in Siberia on Tuesday.

The agency quotes an unnamed official as saying Kim Jong-il may also meet Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, with whom he talked in 2002, when the latter was Russian President.

The visit comes amid severe economic hardship and food shortages in North Korea.

On Friday, Moscow announced it was providing 50 000 tons of wheat to Pyongyang.

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Tags: Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, Khasan, Vladivostok, pipeline, nuclear program, Russia, Kim Jong-il, leader, North Korea


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