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N. Korea's Kim Jong-il 'begins Russia visit'

© RIA Novosti . Vladimir Rodionov Kim Jong-il
 Kim Jong-il - Sputnik International
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-il began his first trip to Russia since 2002 on Saturday, the Kremlin has said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il began his first trip to Russia since 2002 on Saturday, the Kremlin has said.

Kim is expected to visit a dam in the Russian port city of Vladivostok before holding talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The talks are likely to take place in the eastern Siberian city of Ulan-Ude on Tuesday, the South Korean Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unnamed source. The source said Kim may also meet with Russia's increasingly autocratic prime minister, Vladimir Putin.

Yonhap said earlier the secretive leader's armored train was spotted in Russia's border town of Khasan.

North Korea is facing severe food shortages and increasing international isolation over its nuclear program.

On Friday, Russia said it was giving 50,000 tons of wheat to the communist state.

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