Kim Jong Il Holds Third Summit Talks with Putin during Tour of Far Eastern Region of Russia


General Secretary Kim Jong Il and Russian President V. V. Putin have a summit talk in Vladivostok.


In a move to demonstrate friendly ties between the DPRK and its neighbor Russia, Chairman Kim Jong Il of the National Defense Commission met with his counterpart President Vladimir V. Putin on August 23 in Vladivostok, during his recent five-day tour of the Far Eastern region of Russia. It became a prominent international news event in that the summit talks between the two leaders came at a time when Pyongyang was doubling its effort to better bilateral ties with Seoul, Tokyo and Washington, on the one hand, and had just enforced a new policy to bring about a radical transformation in the country’s economic management, on the other.


Tour of Russian Far Eastern Region


The DPRK leader Kim Jong Il on August 20 embarked on a five-day visit to the Russian region by train.

Kim Jong Il started his visit at the Russian border station Khasan where he was welcomed by Presidential Envoy Konstantin Pulikovsky who guided the DPRK leader throughout his tour of the region. Pulikovsky had done so during Kim Jong Il’s last year’s official visit to Russia by the Trans-Siberian Railway for 24 days.

On the morning of August 21, Kim Jong Il arrived in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, a major industrial city in the region. He first went to the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association named after Gagarin, which produces up-to-date military aircrafts such as Sukhoi-27, Su-30MKK, SU-30 and Su-27. Guided by its director general V.I. Merkulov, Kim Jong Il toured the designing, assembling and press shops of the association. In the afternoon he visited the Amur shipyard and inspected a submarine under construction.

On August 22, Kim Jong Il and his party visited Khavarovsk. In the morning that day, Kim Jong Il visited Dalkimfarm, the largest pharmaceutical plant in the Far East, and the Amurkabel cable-producing plant. He went on to visit the St. Bishop Innokenty of Irkutsk Church, a Russian Orthodox church, to learn about the religious customs of the Russian people.

In the afternoon, he visited the Volochayev Division of the Far East military district and its combat history museum, and saw military hardware and the training of soldiers.


General Secretary Kim Jong Il visits the Ignat Department Store in Vladivostok on August 23.


On August 23, Kim Jong Il arrived in Vladivostok, Russia’s main Pacific coast city. He first visited the warship Admiral Panteleyev of the Pacific Fleet, which was at anchor in Vladivostok port. A grand welcome function took place for the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army. He reviewed a guard of honor that lined up on the deck. He went round the combat and technical equipment and the interior of the vessel and saw a drill of seamen. He then proceeded to the Ignat Department Store, going up and down its six floors. Next, he went to the Vladkleb bakery where he spent about 40 minutes. “He was very much interested in new products and new technology,” said Vladivostok Mayor Yuri Kopylov, who accompanied Kim Jong Il.

According to “Vladivostok News,” Vladivostok Mayor Yuri Koplylov said he and Kim Jong Il exchanged business ideas, which reportedly included the possibility for North Korea to supply fuel oil from a refinery in the port of Rajin to Vladivostok power plants. On a different topic, Koplylov said they agreed to make Vladivostok and Wonsan, eastern port city of North Korea, sister cities.


Summit Meeting


General Secretary Kim Jong Il capped his recent second visit to Russia in a year with a three-hour meeting with his counterpart President Valdimir V. Putin in Vladivostok.

Putin warmly welcomed Kim Jong Il’s visit to the Far Eastern region and said his visit marked an important occasion in further expanding and developing the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries. Kim Jong Il expressed thanks for the deep attention paid to make his visit successful.

During the talks, the two leaders exchanged information of their countries’ situations as well as their views on the international matters of mutual concern. They also had an exhaustive discussion on linking railways and extending bilateral cooperation in energy, lumber, crude oil, metal industry, fishery, and various other economic sectors.

Both leaders paid special attention to the issue of linking the Korean Peninsula’s railroad with Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railroad. “The discussion bore fine results,” the Korean Central News Agency said.

Asked about the result of the third DPRK-Russia summit centering on the re-linking of the Korean and Russian railways, the Russian leader told reporters: “Of course, we have discussed rather in much detail all issues associated with the possible connection of the Trans-Siberian Railroad and the Trans-Korean railroad. I repeat, we have discussed every nuance of it,” “Vladivostok News” quoted him as saying.

Earlier, at the end of July, Putin said, “Once carried out, this project will create new possibilities of business cooperation and economic integration on the Eurasian continent and will also help strengthen trust, peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region,” reported the “Moscow Times” on August 23.

Together with this grand project of global importance, Kim Jong Il’s latest visit to Russia bore special importance in promoting economic cooperation between the DPRK and Russia’s Far Eastern region. North Korea and Russia exchanged economic delegations early this year in a move to join hands in economic projects, in areas ranging from oil refinery works to marine transportation, agriculture, fishery and lumbering. An August 15 agreement signed between Pyongyang and the Amur Province of Russia, is a case in point.

On August 23, Putin also reiterated Moscow’s sincere efforts in reducing tensions on the divided Korean peninsula and a unique role it could play in the Korean peninsula issues.

According to news reports, Kim Jong Il said, before leaving for home, that he was “satisfied 100 percent” with the results of his visit to the Far East of Russia.


Media’s Comments


“Rodong Sinmun,” organ of the Workers’ Party of Korea, described Kim Jong Il’s recent visit to Russia as “another epoch-making event in further developing DPRK-Russia friendly relations.”

“On the whole, the second visit of the North Korean leader to Russia’s Far East is a success. Time will show whether the visit will bring some considerable results,” “Pravda” commented in its August 23 article.

“The strategic partnership between North Korea and Russia would not only help the two nations to form strategic safety but help pressure the U.S. in the process,” said “China Radio.”



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