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|Tuesday, July 31, 2001, updated at 07:53(GMT+8)|
Top DPRK Leader Makes Stopover in Krasnoyarsk En Route to MoscowKim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), made a brief stopover in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on his way to Moscow on Monday, Itar-Tass news agency reported.
Kim's special train stopped at the railway station for changing the locomotive. None of the DPRK officials left the train during the 30 minutes when it stayed at the station, while 150 journalists and onlookers were gathering at the terminal, Tass said.
During Kim's stay in Krasnoyarsk, old timers recalled that Kim 's father, Kim Il Sung, also stopped his train there for almost half a day on May 21, 1984. He visited the local hydropower plant and went on a sightseeing tour of the city.
No protocol events were held in Krasnoyarsk on Monday, for they are not provided for in the program of Kim's visit.
The departure of four trains, including the Moscow-Vladivostok express, was delayed for Kim's 30-minute stop.
Early Tuesday, Kim Jong Il will make a brief stopover in Novosibirsk, another key city on the Siberian railway, to meet the family of the man who saved his father in 1946.
Sources in the Novosibirsk regional administration told Tass that Kim Jong Il has expressed a desire to meet the family of North Korean labor hero Yakov Novichenko. The family of the late Yakov Novichenko who saved the life of Kim Il Sung on March 1, 1946, now resides in Novosibirsk.
Back in 1946, the Russian officer caught the grenade, which an unidentified wrongdoer had hurled at the tribune where Kim Il Sung was standing during a meeting in the railway station square in Pyongyang. Novichenko could not get rid of the grenade at once as many people were standing around him. The officer fell to the ground covering the grenade with his body.
The explosion caused five serious wounds to Novichenko: his arm was torn off and his eyes were damaged, but the man survived. He was awarded the title of a hero of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Kim Jong Il will arrive in the Siberian city of Omsk later on Tuesday, where he is to visit a T-80 tank firing range.
A spokesman of the Omsk regional administration said that local arms manufacturers want to show combat capabilities of the T- 80 tank to Kim.
Kim, who is travelling to Moscow along the Trans-Siberian railway, is arriving in Omsk on Tuesday afternoon and will spend a day in the city.
On Wednesday, Kim will visit the transport machinery plant and the leading Russian "Omsk Bacon" pig-breeding farm in the city.
Russian media cited the South Korean "Korea Times" newspaper as saying on Monday that Kim will spend in Russia a total of 24 days, including the railway trip across the whole of the country up to western Russian port city of St. Petersburg and back to Pyongyang.
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