Putin, Kim Jong Il Signed Declaration

Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Jong Il, held a historic meeting in the Kremlin on last Saturday to warm traditional ties between their two countries, which have stagnated for over a decade, and signed a key declaration to guide the development of bilateral relations.

At the meeting, Putin expressed his satisfaction with the fact that Kim "has finally made it to Moscow after such a lengthy trip" by train along the Trans-Siberian Railway, the same route Kim’s late father once traveled.

After their meeting, the two leaders signed a milestone declaration which focused on strategic stability and the guidelines of expanding bilateral friendship and cooperation.

The two sides agreed to "promote and enhance friendly relations" in line with the joint declaration of July 19, 2000 and the Russia-DPRK friendship and good neighborly cooperation treaty of February 9, 2000.

Putin and Kim agreed during their talks to promote a Russian- DPRK political dialogue on the Korean issue and international affairs, and discussed many topical international problems, deputy head of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Prikhodko told reporters following the talks.

The two leaders spoke for an independent and peaceful solution to the issue of reunification of the Korean Peninsula, and against "any outside obstacles to this process" as "unacceptable."

The DPRK stated that withdrawal of the American troops from South Korea is an urgent essential issue" and is to promote peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. Russia expressed appreciation of this position and stressed the need to secure peace and stability in the region by non-military means.

(Xinhua News Agency 08/05/2001)

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