August 21, 2011 in Nation/World

North Korean leader in Russia for talks

Associated Press

MOSCOW – Secretive North Korea’s autocratic leader Kim Jong Il crossed into Russia on Saturday on his armored train to discuss with President Dmitry Medvedev the possible renewal of nuclear disarmament talks and the construction of a pipeline that will stream Russian natural gas to both Koreas.

Kim’s visit to the Cold War ally is a further sign of Pyongyang’s increasing efforts to reach out for economic assistance and diplomatic support.

North Korea is increasing efforts to secure aid and to restart stalled nuclear disarmament negotiations. Last month, a senior North Korean diplomat visited New York to discuss ways to resume six-nation talks last held in December 2008. Earlier, the nuclear envoys of North and South Korea met in Indonesia for talks.

Russia and North Korea both announced Friday that Moscow will provide food assistance, including some 50,000 tons of wheat, to Pyongyang. North Korea might face another food crisis this year due to heavy rains.

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