Russia, North Korea hail dynamic bilateral relations

New Europe

Russia and North Korea hailed the dynamic development of their relations on May 21 despite the latter's increasing international isolation. "Contacts with North Korea carry a great significance for Russia" Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said at talks in Moscow with his North Korean counterpart Pak Nam Sun. Supplies of Russian military technology to Pyongyang are a central topic during the two- day official visit to the Russian capital, Interfax quoted diplomatic sources as saying. Russia hopes to broaden its economic outreach in southwest Asia via North Korea, including by extending the Trans- Siberian railway across the border. The Kremlin rejects the label of "rogue state" that Washington attaches to the Communist country, and advocates an international policy of dialog rather than isolation. Impoverished North Korea is also dependent on Russian electricity supplies and other economic aid. Its leader Kim Jong Il paid an official visit to Moscow by train last year amid great ceremony but was viewed as a "ghost of Communism" by many local media.