North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Il Makes His Return (Revised)

A view of Manzhouli Railway Station at the Russia-China border (Photo: Google image)

Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) is returning to the DPRK.  The locomotive of his personal  train was spotted in northeastern China at the Russia-China border in Manzhouli, according to Yonhap.  KCNA reported that KJI “will pay a visit to the Northeast area of the People’s Republic of China on August 25 on his way home.”

Back in the DPRK, KCNA reported on Kim Jong Il’s (Kim Cho’ng-il) meeting and the other events that he attended with Russian President Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev.  While mentioning KJI’s pronouncement on the country’s return to the Six Party Talks, KCNA did not mention anything about his declaration to suspend nuclear weapons tests or production.

Kim Jong Il departs the summit talks with Dmitry Medvedev, seen at the right is his current wife Kim Ok (Photo: RIA Novosti)

First, KCNA reported about KJI’s initial interaction with Medvedev, at the Sosnovy Bor hotel where the Russian President was staying during his visit to the area:

Kim Jong Il exchanged warm greetings with Medvedev and had a talk with him.

The president warmly welcomed leader Kim Jong Il visiting Russia by sparing precious time despite his tight schedule leading the building of a prosperous and powerful country in the DPRK on behalf of the Russian government and the people. He said that the visit would mark a particularly important occasion in further developing the Russia-DPRK friendly relations as required by the new century.

The third visit to Russia paid by Kim Jong Il in the new century clearly proves what importance he is attaching to the Russia-DPRK friendship, he noted, paying high tribute to Kim Jong Il who has made an immortal contribution to the development of the Russia-DPRK friendship.

Kim Jong Il expressed his pleasure of meeting with Medvedev and thanked him for coming all the way to Ulan-Ude to kindly meet with him. He gave his impressions of his visit to the Far East and Siberian regions under the great concern of the Russian government and people and amid their cordial hospitality.

Kim Jong Il and Dmitry Medvedev sit for a media availability on 24 August 2011in Ulan Ude (Photo: Kremlin)

KJI and Medvedev then made their way to the military base for their meeting.  Only five (5) of the dozen or so reported members of KJI’s travel party were reported as attending.  Jang Song Taek (Chang So’ng-t’aek) was not reported to have attended the interaction.  Interestingly in this and other KCNA reporting on the trip, VMar Kim Yong Chun (Kim Yo’ng-ch’un) was identified as a member of the Political Bureau and minister of the People’s Armed Forces, but not Vice-Chairman of the National Defense Commission (NDC).

Kim Jong Il thanked the Russian president and other central leading officials and the governments and people of different regions for kindly receiving him wherever he went and according him cordial hospitality and extended his regards to the Russian people.

He said he witnessed the successes achieved by the Russian government and people in the work to modernize the economy, bolster the defense capability and achieve social stability under the leadership of Medvedev and got better knowledge of the history and culture of Russia while touring several cities and units of the vast Far East and Siberian regions. He hoped the Russian people would enjoy prosperity in the future, too.

At the talks the top leaders of the two countries informed each other of the situation in their countries and appreciated with satisfaction the favorably developing bilateral relations. They exchanged their views on developing the bilateral relations and reached a consensus of views on all the issues discussed.

The two top leaders were unanimous in saying that boosting the bilateral friendly and cooperative relations with a long historical tradition is not only in line with the desire of the two peoples and their fundamental interests but is of important significance in developing Northeast Asia and defending world peace and security.

The Russian president reiterated that the Russian side would join the DPRK side in boosting the Russia-DPRK good-neighborly, friendly and cooperative relations and thus making a positive contribution to bringing greater well-being to the two peoples.

Kim Jong Il reiterated the determination of the government and people of the DPRK to make every possible effort to further develop the traditional bilateral friendly and cooperative relations in the future, too.

At the talks the top leaders underlined the need for the two countries to boost the friendship, equality and mutually beneficial cooperative relations in the spirit of the DPRK-Russia Joint Declaration inked in Pyongyang in 2000, the 2001 DPRK-Russia Moscow Declaration and the Treaty of Friendship, Good-neighborliness and Cooperation between the DPRK and Russia.

They expressed firm belief that the cause of building a prosperous and powerful nation in the DPRK and that of building a powerful state in Russia would surely be accomplished thanks to the two peoples’ vigorous struggle for social progress and development. They expressed mutual support and solidarity with the cause.

The two top leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on regional and international issues at the talks.

The Russians arranged a performance for KJI:

The performance was given by well-known national art troupes, people’s and merited artistes and international concourse winners of Russia.

Their repertoire included chorus “Song of General Kim Jong Il,” an immortal revolutionary hymn, chorus and dance “Katyusa,” song and dance suite “Land of friendship,” chorus “Russia and Korea, eternal friends.”

The performers expressed boundless reverence and thanks of the Russian people for Kim Jong Il for making an undying contribution to the development of traditional DPRK-Russia friendship.

Pleasant and optimistic dances and songs showcased part of a long history and culture of the Russian people and culture of the Buryat.

The performance was acclaimed by the audience for its high artistic value.

Kim Jong Il conveyed a floral basket to the artistes for their successful performance.

Medvedev also hosted “a grand banquet” for the DPRK officials:

Kim Jong Il was present at the banquet on invitation.

Also present there on invitation were Kim Yong Chun, member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and minister of the People’s Armed Forces, Kang Sok Ju, member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and vice-premier of the Cabinet, Jang Song Thaek, alternate member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and vice-chairman of the NDC, Kim Yang Gon, Pak To Chun and Thae Jong Su, alternate members of the Political Bureau and secretaries of the WPK Central Committee, Ju Kyu Chang, alternate member of the Political Bureau and department director of the WPK Central Committee, Pak Pong Ju, first vice department director of the WPK Central Committee, O Su Yong, chief secretary of the North Hamgyong Provincial Committee of the WPK, Kim Kye Gwan, first vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Kim Yong Jae, DPRK ambassador to Russia, Sim Kuk Ryong, consul general of the DPRK Consulate General in Nakhodka of Russia, and other suite members.

Present there together with Medvedev were Alexandr Avramov, assistant to the president for regional policy, Sergei Prikhodiko, assistant to the president for external policy, Viktor Ishayev, presidential envoy to the Far East Region of the Russian Federation, Viktor Tolokonski, presidential envoy to the Siberian Region of the Russian Federation, Anatoly Serzhukov, minister of Defense, Igor Levitin, minister of Transport, Viktor Basargin, minister of Regional Development who is chairman of the Russian side to the Governmental Committee between Russia-DPRK for the Cooperation of Trade and Economy, Science and Technology, Valery Sukhinin, Russian ambassador to the DPRK, Aleksei Borodavkin, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Byacheslav Nagovitsin, president of the Republic of Buryatia, Matbei Gershevich, chairman of the People’s Khural, Gennadi Aidayev, mayor of Ulan-Ude, Anatoly Sidorov, first vice commander of the Eastern Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Tsilko, commander of the 36th Combined Forces of the Eastern Military District, and other central and local leading officials and commanding officers of the armed forces.

Dmitri Anatoliyevich Medvedev made a speech at the banquet.

Kim Jong Il spoke next.

The banquet proceeded in an amicable atmosphere overflowing with friendship.

According to KCNA Medvedev, in part, said:

The good neighborly relations between our two countries have a solid foundation. This is not merely because of geographical proximity and long-standing bilateral relations.

The cooperation between Russia and the DPRK has great potential.

To realize cooperation between the two countries will bring a lot of benefits including not a few economic fruits to our two peoples.

Today I and Your Excellency Kim Jong Il agreed to further political dialogue and comprehensively develop working cooperation.

There is great possibility of cooperation for us in the educational and cultural fields, too.

The Russian center has already operated in Pyongyang for the last three years and students of the DPRK are studying and having training programs at universities of Russia.

Art groups of Russia made ceaseless performance tours of the DPRK and it has become a tradition for them to participate in the April Spring Friendship Art Festival.

The contacts between the regions of the two countries have become more brisk recently.

Documents on establishing sister relations between various cities of Russia and the DPRK are in the making.

Cooperation among Russia, the DPRK and the Republic of Korea in carrying out the grand plans in the fields of infrastructure and power has a great prospect.

I am convinced that to realize this cooperation would be beneficial to all our three countries and have a positive impact on providing favorable environment for dialogue and confidence-building between the DPRK and the ROK.

It is our common task to put an end to the confrontation between the north and the south that has lasted for more than half a century, I think.

We will in the future, too, contribute to seeking political and economic solutions to turn the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia into regions in which durable peace and security are settled.

Respected friends,

Hoping you will have good impressions during your stay in Russia, let me propose to toast to the good health of respected Your Excellency Kim Jong Il, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, and to the good health of all those present here and to the well-being and prosperity of the peoples of the DPRK and Russia.

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Il’s after-dinner speech said, in part:

It gives me great pleasure to revisit Siberia and the Far East Region of Russia, a friendly neighbor, after the lapse of a decade and meet with you.

Allow me to express, first of all, my heartfelt thanks to you for traveling thousands of kilometers to come to Ulan-Ude from Moscow, the capital city, warmly greeting us and providing us with such meaningful place today.

It gives us particular pleasure to visit your country for the third time in the new century and see for ourselves the achievements made by your people in building powerful and modern Russia.

The Russian government and people are registering many successes in the work to bolster the defence capability of the country and achieve the modernization of economy and social and political stability and working hard to establish a fair international order against high-handed and arbitrary practices under your leadership.

It is our sincere hope that the efforts of the friendly Russian government and people to defend world peace and security and build rich and powerful Russia will bear good fruits.

The peoples of our two countries have given steady continuity to the history and tradition of friendship along with the placid flow of the River Tuman.

We are glad to see that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries have favorably developed in various fields recently.

To steadily develop in depth the history and tradition of the DPRK-Russia friendship entirely conforms with the interests of the two peoples and is of weighty significance in defending the peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

We are convinced that the summit meeting today will undoubtedly mark an important landmark in boosting the DPRK-Russia relations in line with the aspiration and desire of the two peoples and turning Northeast Asia into the region for peace and cooperation.

We will in the future, too, make every effort to boost the traditional DPRK-Russia friendly and cooperative relations.

In closing, I, availing myself of this opportunity overflowing with the friendship, would like to propose a toast to the strengthening and development of the traditional friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries, to the good health of Respected Your Excellency President Dmitri Anatoliyevich Medvedev and to the good health of the dear friends of Russia and all those present here.

Medvedev later saw KJI depart from Ulan Ude.  In a separate piece, KCNA reported that “the Korean people are now making great achievements in their work to delight leader Kim Jong Il when he returns home from his unofficial visit to Siberian and Far East regions of the Russian Federation.”

The president hoped that he would meet with leader Kim Jong Il again and sincerely wished him greater success in his important work for building a prosperous and powerful country.

Kim Jong Il once again extended thanks to the president, the government and the people of Russia for having accorded him cordial hospitality with all sincerity during his visit and wished them new success in the efforts for the economic development of the country and the well-being of the people.

Kim Jong Il and Dmitri Anatoliyevich Medvedev shook hands with each other before bidding farewell.

The revisit paid by Kim Jong Il to Russia for steadily strengthening and developing the DPRK-Russia friendship proved successful thanks to the particular concern and hospitality of the Russian president including leading officials of the Russian government and various regions and their people.

He expressed his satisfaction over the results of the visit and sincere thanks to the Russian people for their warmest hospitality.

Kim Jong Il’s historical visit to Russia will go a long way towards boosting the traditional DPRK-Russia friendship and record another brilliant chapter in its history.

One projected rail route for Kim Jong Il's return to the DPRK (Photo: Google image)

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