News / Asia

Medvedev, Kim Jong Il Meet in Siberia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il shakes hands with chief conductor of the main orchestra of the Defense Ministry, Viktor Yeliseyev, left, as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev smiles in Siberia's Buryatia region, August 24, 2011
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il shakes hands with chief conductor of the main orchestra of the Defense Ministry, Viktor Yeliseyev, left, as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev smiles in Siberia's Buryatia region, August 24, 2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and North Korea's Kim Jong Il met in Siberia to discuss resuming six-party nuclear talks, among other issues. 

This was Kim Jong Il's first trip to Russia in nearly a decade.  He arrived in Russia, via his armored train, on Saturday, but his visit to Siberia and Russia’s Far East has been shrouded in secrecy.  

Medvedev met Kim at a military base in Sosnovy Bor.

Medvedev says he hopes Kim has had an interesting time during his train journey and has been able to see some of the sights that were planned for him.

On Russian television, Kim appeared relaxed, wearing his traditional khaki suit.  He told Medvedev he had indeed enjoyed his travels through Russia. He thanked the Russian president for the special care and attention he received during, what he called, a pleasant journey.

The two leaders discussed a variety of issues, including North Korea’s nuclear arms programs, disaster aid and a natural gas pipeline.

The Kremlin says North Korea is ready to impose a moratorium on nuclear testing and processing if six-party talks are resumed on the country’s nuclear-weapons program.  

Previously, North Korea called for resumption of the talks between China, Japan, the United States, Russia and the two Koreas without preconditions, but South Korea insisted that its neighbor suspend its nuclear activities.

Medvedev says North Korea also supports a pipeline that would carry Russian natural gas from North to South Korea.  According to Russia’s president, the route would stretch more than 1,000 miles and begin with volumes of up to 10 billion cubic meters per year.  

The North Korean leader’s arrival came a day after the Kremlin said it would ship 50,000 tons of grain to the country in an effort to offset food shortages.

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