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N. Korean leader to visit Russia for summit: report

June 28, 2011 - 10:47 By 천성우
TOKYO (Yonhap News) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is expected to visit Russia later this week for summit talks with President Dmitry Medvedev, a Japanese newspaper reported Tuesday.

The Mainichi Shimbun, a major daily, reported that North Korea and Russia are in final consultations to hold the summit in Vladivostok on Friday. It quoted multiple intelligence sources in Moscow.

It would be Kim’s first visit to the Cold War ally since 2002.

The Pyongyang-Moscow ties have apparently withered as Russia has improved relations with South Korea and other western nations.

Through the upcoming summit talks, Russia hopes to bolster ties with North Korea in the interest of regional security, and the North wants economic assistance, according to the newspaper.

Kim, known to dislike air travel due to security concerns, is expected to cross the border aboard his special train early Friday morning, it said.

South Korea’s top diplomat said earlier he had no information on the possibility of Kim’s first overseas visit since his May trip to China.

“These days, Japanese media reports have the tendency of not being accurate,” Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said Friday during his trip to Washington, when asked whether Kim will travel to Russia anytime soon.