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N. Korean media reports Kim Jong-il's arrival in Amur region

All Headlines 23:14 August 21, 2011

SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's state-controlled media on Sunday quickly reported Kim Jong-il's arrival in Russia's Amur Oblast region.

News agencies such as the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the North Korean leader was met by a military band and traditional folk dancers when he reached the Russian province earlier in the day.

The confirmation of the visit is uncharacteristically fast for North Korean news outlets that in the past had imposed media blackouts on foreign visits with details of Kim's trips to places like China only being released when he was on his way home.

The KCNA added that Kim toured the Bureiskaya hydro-electric power station in the Amur region and expressed hope such facilities will fuel economic growth and people's welfare in Russia's Far East.

Besides the news agency, the Korean Central Broadcasting Station and the Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station all reported Kim's Russian visit as wells as the response expressed by North Korean citizens.

North Korean watchers said that Kim's visit is aimed at strengthening economic ties between that two countries that have cooled since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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