Kim Jong Il sends congratulatory message to Putin

October 7, 2006 04:52

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has sent a birthday greeting to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday, amid mounting tensions over a possible nuclear weapons test by the reclusive communist country. In a brief message, Kim extended congratulations to Putin on his 54th birthday and wished him success in accomplishing Russia's socio-economic development, KCNA said. The UN Security Council warned North Korea on Friday of unspecified consequences if it carries out its first test of an atomic bomb and urged the communist regime to abandon all nuclear weapons and cancel plans to detonate a device. Russia is one of North Korea's traditional allies, although since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union it has been replaced by China as the North's main benefactor.

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