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DATE=6/9/2000
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=PUTIN / NORTH KOREA (L UPDATE)
NUMBER=2-263323
BYLINE=OWEN FAY
DATELINE=MOSCOW
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO:  Russian President Vladimir Putin will become 
the first leader of his country to visit North Korea 
when he goes to Pyongyang later this year.  Owen Fay 
in Moscow reports that nuclear issues will top the 
agenda.
TEXT:  President Vladimir Putin will meet with North 
Korean leader Kim Jong-Il; it will be the first time a 
Russian president has held direct talks with the 
leader of the politically isolated country.
Reports say the visit will take place just prior to 
the July summit of leading industrial nations in Japan 
and comes at a time when North Korea's nuclear weapons 
program has sparked a major dispute between Russia and 
the United States.
But Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said the 
purpose of the trip is  not  to try and pressure North 
Korea to abandon its ballistic missile program.
       /// IVANOV ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///
Mr. Ivanov says President Putin is going on a visit to 
a friendly country and -- in his words -- "does not 
intend on talking anybody out of anything."
No  official agenda for the meeting has yet been 
released although the talks are expected to focus on 
two key issues -- political tensions on the Korean 
peninsula and the controversial United States plan to 
build a missile defense system to guard against 
attack.  
The United States has repeatedly cited North Korea as 
one of what it calls "rogue states," which a defense 
shield would protect against.
The Russian government has fiercely objected to the 
plan saying the system would spark a new arms race. 
During talks in Moscow last Sunday, Mr. Putin told 
President Clinton that Russia remains categorically 
opposed to such a system.
Spokesmen in the Kremlin say Mr. Putin's trip to North 
Korea has come about at the urging of the Russian 
government.  It marks a fundamental shift in Russia's 
foreign policy toward North Korea.  The Putin 
government now wants to help North Korea end its 
international isolation, and sees a personal visit by 
Mr. Putin as a first step in doing so.  (Signed)
NEB/OF/JWH/KL
09-Jun-2000 10:22 AM EDT (09-Jun-2000 1422 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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