"The Russian side took a number of measures at once to help our North Korean friends," Mr. Yakovenko noted. "We maintain permanent contacts with North Korea via diplomatic channels to specify the circumstances and scale of the catastrophe and the country's demands for humanitarian aid," he added.
The Russian leadership is examining this problem. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram of condolences to the Chairman of the North Korean National Defense Commission, Kim Chong-Il. Another telegram was sent to North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun on behalf of his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
"Russia is convinced that North Korea is able to withstand this ordeal. We are ready to render all the necessary assistance and hope for a relevant international response," Alexander Yakovenko said.