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DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il sets foot on Russia

(Xinhua)

09:40, August 21, 2011

A train, transporting North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, arrives at Khasan Station after crossing the border between North Korea and Russia, near Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok August 20, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

PYONGYANG, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the National Defense Commission (NDC) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) passed through Khasan, the border railway station of Russia in the morning of Aug. 20, the official news agency KCNA reported.

According to the KCNA, the unofficial visit by Kim Jong Il to Siberia and the Far East Region of the Russian Federation at the invitation of Dmitri Anatoliyevich Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation, is another event in "achieving world peace and security and the human cause of independence" and will mark a historic occasion in "boosting the DPRK-Russia friendship given steady continuity generation after generation and putting strong impetus to the drive of all the servicepersons and people to build a thriving socialist nation".

Kim was greeted at Khasan Railway Station by Viktor Ishayev, presidential envoy to the Far East Region of the Russian Federation, Sergey Darikin, governor of Maritime Territory, and other senior Russian officials at the railway station. The officials warmly welcomed Kim, saying President Medvedev who paid deep attention to the Russia-DPRK friendship dispatched them to greet him and the current visit of Kim to Russia will mark a historic occasion in putting the Russia-DPRK friendly and cooperative relations onto a fresher and higher stage, said the report.

Kim said that he was very pleased to see the achievements made by the Russian people and appreciated the greeting of the senior officials of Russia, the report added.

It is reported that he is accompanied by Kim Yong Chun, member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and minister of the People's Armed Forces, Kang Sok Ju, member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and vice-premier of the Cabinet other senior officials.

Kim made his last visit to Russia in 2002.

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