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Russia's Medvedev hold talks with DPRK top leader

(Xinhua)

08:25, August 25, 2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) shakes hands with Kim Jong Il, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), near Russia's eastern Siberian city of Ulan Ude, Aug. 24, 2011. (Xinhua/RIA NOVOSTI)

MOSCOW, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday met with Kim Jong Il, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), near Russia's eastern Siberian city of Ulan Ude, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

The meeting was held at a military base in the Sosnovy Bor village, some 50 km from Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia republic, it said.

The talks have focused on the earliest possible resumption of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, as well as energy cooperation, including a project to build a gas pipeline from Russia to South Korea via the DPRK.

"High on the talks' agenda are stronger political dialogue, cooperation among relevant ministries and agencies and expansion of humanitarian and inter-regional contacts," a Kremlin source told Itar-Tass.

The two leaders have agreed to set up a special commission to promote gas cooperation between Russia, DPRK and South Korea, Medvedev told media after the talks.

"As regards the gas cooperation, there are results. We have directed our ministries to set up an ad hoc commission to determine the specific parameters of bilateral cooperation on gas transit via DPRK and therefore to get the Republic of Korea join this project," Medvedev was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

The DPRK is ready to resume the six-party talks without preconditions, which also involve Russia, China, South Korea, the United States and Japan, Russian presidential spokeswoman Nataliya Timakova said.

The Kremlin had said the summit would be the highlight of Kim's visit, but no specific date, venue nor topic for the talks were mentioned at the time.

Kim arrived in Russia's Far East Saturday on a special train for his third visit to the country.

The DPRK leader visited Russia twice before. From July 26 to Aug. 18, 2001, the DPRK leader traveled by rail across Russia from Vladivostok to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

His second visit to Russia was in August 2002. During the four-day trip, Kim studied the Far East region's economic policy.

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