Kim cancels Russia trip over media leaks: report

30th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il cancelled a tentatively scheduled meeting with the Russian president due to media leaks about the proposed talks, a Kremlin source was quoted as saying on Thursday.

President Dmitry Medvedev travelled to Vladivostok on Thursday and speculation had mounted that he might extend his stay to Friday to meet the reclusive Kim.

Kim last visited Russia in 2002 when he met then president Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok.

A Kremlin official told the Kommersant business daily that the North Korean authorities were pushing for a meeting and Medvedev was receptive to the idea.

But the source stressed that no firm talks had been set.

"No meetings were specifically meant to accompany the Russian president's visit to Vladivostok," the unnamed Kremlin source told the business daily.

"However, the North Korean side was interested in such a meeting."

The source added that "the North Korean authorities' change of mind was due in no small part to Japanese and South Korean media reports about the meeting possibly taking place."

Kommersant speculated that the media reports might have caused Kim to worry about his security.

Russia has promoted multilateral talks over the Korean Peninsula crisis and is also interested in stretching a gas pipeline across North Korea to the South.

Just as with his past visits to China, Kim has travelled to Russia exclusively in his personal train out of reported security concerns.

© 2011 AFP

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