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North Korea - Dec 19, 2011 - 11:10

Last modified: 19 Dec 2011 08:10

Al Jazeera's Neave Barker, reporting from Moscow, spoke of Russia's relationship with North Korea and the death of Kim Jong-il:

There has been no official response from the Russian government yet. But we presume in the next hours some official statement will come.

It is likely to be a show of solidarity with the North Korean people.

Russia and North Korea's close relationship dates back to the 1940s, 1950s. That is when the relationship really kicked off between the two countries. [...]

Later on after the collapse of the soviet Union, the relationship somewhat cooled as Boris Yeltsin took over the country.

But in 2000, when Vladimir Putin, became prime minister of Russia he really tried to reverse the situation, tried to make inroads economically and politically into the country.

In the last 10 years or so, Moscow has sunk billions [of dollars] into long-term infrastructure projects all across the region.

To some extent though, Moscow has had to keep Pyongyang at arm's length. Happy to deal with them in terms of business, economic issues, but not when it comes to military or issues to do with the nation's controversial nuclear weapons programme. 

Read the full article: North Korea's Kim Jong-il dead at 69