Russian Paper Cites Security Concerns For Canceled Kim Summit

Posted June 30th, 2011 at 2:55 am (UTC-5)
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Russian and East Asian media provided conflicting accounts Thursday of the reasons for the apparent cancelation of a secret summit between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Neither government has confirmed that a meeting was in the works, though several news outlets quoted Russian sources saying the two were to have met during Mr. Medvedev's current visit to Vladivostok. Japan's Fuji television said the Russians had laid out a carpet and set up fences at a border crossing near the Far Eastern city.

South Korea's Chosun newspaper quotes diplomatic sources in that country saying an armored train believed to be carrying Mr. Kim did set out from Pyongyang Wednesday but turned back without ever reaching the border.

The Russian newspaper Conversant quotes Kremlin sources saying Mr. Kim abruptly changed his mind about the visit because of security concerns after news of the trip leaked out in world media.

South Korean media meanwhile quote officials in that country speculating that Mr. Kim canceled the trip because of health issues or disputes with Russia over the agenda.