Topic: Kim Jong-il visits Russia
ULAN-UDE, August 24 (RIA Novosti)
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is returning to his homeland after talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and visiting the east Siberian republic of Buryatia, a government spokesman for the republic said on Wednesday.
Kim, who is traveling in his own armored train, arrived on Tuesday in Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia.
"The main purpose [of the visit] was to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev [in Buryatia]," the spokesman said. The meeting was held on Wednesday in the military town of Sosnovy Bor.
One of the main results after negotiations was the start of cooperation in the gas industry. Medvedev and Kim gave instructions to create a special commission that would determine the specific parameters of the bilateral cooperation on gas transit through the territory of North Korea.
Kim thanked Medvedev for the humanitarian aid that Russia is providing to North Korea and invited the Russian president to North Korea.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.