North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has apparently canceled a visit to the eastern Russian port city of Vladivostok to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
"It's my understanding that a summit between Chairman Kim Jong-il and President Dmitry Mevedev was known to be scheduled to take place in Russia's Far Eastern region of Vladivostok on June 30 or July 1," a senior South Korean government source told the Yonhap news agency. "We have no idea yet why the talks were canceled."
The cancelation follows weeks of speculation about the visit in South Korea. Government officials said Medvedev will be in Vladivostok from Wednesday to inspect preparations for the APEC Meeting next year.
Security had already been tightened, and Japan's Kyodo News earlier quoted Russian government officials as saying preparations were under way for the meeting between Kim and Medvedev.
But an intelligence source privy to North Korea affairs told Yonhap the two sides may have canceled the meeting because they failed to narrow differences over the agenda.
Kim visited China last month and met with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and the moment he returned the North said it would have no further contact with the Lee Myung-bak administration, which it claims is sticking to a "confrontational policy."
Experts believe Kim was trying to pressure both China and South Korea by mending ties with Russia. There has been no summit between the two sides since Kim met former Russian president Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok in August 2002.
The North Korean leader is desperate to get approval from his allies for the succession of his son Jong-un to the leadership, but China has been carefully noncommittal.
There is a rail link connecting the two countries that would allow the paranoid North Korean leader to visit because he refuses to travel on anything but his own special armored train.