North Korea Leader Tours Russian Power Plant

Posted August 21st, 2011 at 3:50 am (UTC-5)
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Il visited a hydro power station in Russia's far east Sunday during a secretive, week-long trip that began Saturday.

Local officials say the Kremlin's regional envoy met Mr. Kim's special train and gave him a tour of the Bureiskaya hydro-electric station in the Amur region.

Mr. Kim's visit is shrouded in secrecy, but South Korean and Russian media said Saturday that he would meet later this week with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the city of Ulan-Ude in east Siberia. Reports say the talks will likely focus on securing additional food aid, and on Pyongyang's nuclear program.

Russia is part of the stalled six-party nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea. There have been some signs in recent weeks that diplomatic efforts to restart the aid-for-disarmament talks may be making some progress.

The last round of those talks was held in China in 2008.

Mr. Kim last visited Russia in 2002, when he met with then president Vladimir Putin in the eastern city of Vladivostok.