Opening the talks with his North Korean counterpart Paek Nam Sun on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov pointed to the dynamic development of relations between Russia and North Korea since the signing of the fundamental treaty on friendship and cooperation between our countries in Pyongyang some two years ago. Moscow "assigns priority to regular exchange of personal messages by the Russian and North Korean leaders and to Kim Jong-il's special attention to the Russian authorities and the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang," Igor Ivanov stressed. Russian President Vladimir Putin also pays special attention to relations with North Korea, he said. The Russian Foreign Minister said that he was "happy to greet the North-Korean guest in Moscow". According to him, the Tuesday talks will focus on bilateral relations and vital international issues.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election