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Moscow hopes Kim Jong-ilís death leaves ties with N.Korea unaffected

RIA Novosti

14:13 19/12/2011

MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) - The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il should not impair relations between Russia and North Korea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

“We do not expect the North Korean people’s loss to affect our friendly relations,” Lavrov said.

Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack at the age of 69 on Saturday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent his condolences to Kim Jong-il’s son, Kim Jong-un, who is likely to succeed him, the Kremlin said.

Kim Jong-un was elected general secretary of the Worker's Party of Korea in late September 2010. Kim Jong-un will head the 232-member commission for his father's funeral that is due on December 28. The nationwide mourning period will last through December 29.

Kim Jong-il inherited the leadership of the isolated country from his father Kim Il-sung in 1994. A personality cult has been built up around the family, with Kim Il-sung known as the "eternal president" and Kim Jong-il as the "dear leader." Kim Jong-un has just been called the “Great Successor” in the country.

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