N. Korean leader Kim makes rare visit to Russia

By REUTERS
August 20, 2011 06:57




SEOUL - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il arrived in Russia's eastern city of Khasan on a special train on Saturday, making his first visit since 2002, South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted a South Korean government source as saying.

Yonhap said Kim would likely hold talk with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Ulan Ude, the third largest city in eastern Siberia, on Tuesday. It added that Kim was expected to stay in Russia for a week.

Kim's rare trip to Russia comes after he visited China three times in just over a year. North Korea has been desperate to get economic aid as the reclusive country has suffered from devastating floods and economic sanctions led by the United States because of Pyongyang's secret nuclear weapons development program.

"We understand Chairman Kim's special train arrived at Khasan Station at about 10 a.m. after crossing the border between North Korea and Russia and that a welcoming ceremony is happening there," Yonhap quoted the source as saying.


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