Medvedev hosts talks with Kim Jong-Il

Wednesday 24 August 2011 10.19
Leaders discussed energy and infrastructure projects
Leaders discussed energy and infrastructure projects

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il has met President Dmitry Medvedev in Siberia for talks about securing Russian energy and food aid for his reclusive state.

The summit between Mr Kim, 69, and Mr Medvedev, 45, was the highlight of the North Korean leader's four-day train ride through Russia's Far East and Siberia.

The meeting took place at the Sosnovy Bor (Pine Forest) garrison outside the city of Ulan Ude some 5,550km east of Moscow.

'I am full of positive feelings. The meeting was substantive and open,' Mr Medvedev told reporters after the talks.

Mr Kim had arrived in Ulan Ude aboard his armoured train yesterday.

His journey has seen him enjoy varied excursions including taking a dip in Siberian waters, touring a plant making assault aircraft, taking a trip on the famed Lake Baikal, eating local fish and visiting a hydro-power station.

Mr Medvedev told reporters after the talks that North Korea supported a planned pipeline to carry Russian gas supplies to South Korea through the North.

'As far as I understand, North Korea is interested in the implementation of such a trilateral project with the participation of Russia and South Korea,' he said.

Mr Medvedev said the proposed pipeline would stretch more than 1,700 kilometres and start up with volumes of up to 10bn cubic metres per year.

He said the deal would concern 'the transit of gas across the territory of North Korea and accordingly the addition to this project of the Republic of Korea, considering that the main consumers are on its territory'.

Mr Kim also sought more economic and food aid from Moscow amid fears of a hunger crisis.

Russia said on the eve of Mr Kim's arrival that it was sending up to 50,000 tonnes of wheat to North Korea.

The Kremlin also said in a statement ahead of the talks that 'great attention' would be given in the meeting to efforts to resume talks on defusing the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula.