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    RUSSIA TO RENDER HUMANITARIAN AID TO NORTH KOREA

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    MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Foreign Ministry and Emergencies Ministry are considering the possibility to render urgent humanitarian aid to North Korea in connection with the major railway accident, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko said on Saturday.

    "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.

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