August 29, 2011 10:07
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is prepared to let a gas pipeline be built through his country so Russia can export gas to South Korea, according to Viktor Ishayev, the Russian president's envoy to the Far Eastern Region who accompanied Kim during his stay in Russia on Aug. 20-25.
Kim "apparently doesn't intend to participate in any consortium for the pipeline project linking Russia and South Korea, but seems interested only in collecting fees from handling transit and leasing territory," said Ishayev in an interview with a local press agency.
At a summit in Ulan-Ude on Aug. 24, Kim and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to set up a trilateral committee that would review the laying of the gas pipeline.
Meanwhile, Kim repeated several earlier proposals that he had made to then-president Vladimir Putin when he visited Russia in 2001, Ishayev added, including agricultural cooperation.
Kim wanted to send North Korean workers to cultivate crops on Russian land and supply them to the North. He also proposed establishing a North Korean brewery in Siberia and opening North Korean restaurants in major Russian cities.
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