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North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun will pay an official
North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun will pay an official visit to Russia next week, a Russian Foreign Ministry source said Friday.

"[His] talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have been scheduled for October 15," the source said.

Discussions are likely to focus on North Korea's nuclear program and a project to link the two countries' railways systems.

"The visit will mark the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations. But there is no doubt that the nuclear problem and the project of railway cooperation will be among the main issues on the agenda," the ministry source said.

The visit comes amid new tension between the Communist state and the five countries that have pledged economic aid and diplomatic incentives to Pyongyang for scrapping its nuclear programs.

North Korea has threatened to pull out of the 2007 disarmament deal with China, Japan, South Korea, the United States and Russia and restart plutonium production at its Yongbyon nuclear plant, accusing the United States of reneging on a pledge to strike the country off its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Washington and Pyongyang have been holding consultations on the issue and the North Korean minister is expected to inform Moscow on their progress.

On October 4, Russia and North Korea began the reconstruction of a railroad from Russia's Khasan to North Korea's Rajin under an April 2008 contract. Costing an estimated 150 million euros ($207 million), the project will link Russia's Trans-Siberian railroad to the North Korean port city of Rajin so as to build Eurasia's largest transcontinental railroad of over 10,000 km.


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