MOSCOW, May 18 (Reuters) - Russia’s spy chief recently held talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.
Foreign Intelligence Service director Mikhail Fradkov and Kim discussed economic projects, humanitarian aid and North Korea’s nuclear programme, Interfax reported, citing an unidentified Russian diplomatic source.
The economic projects involving North and South Korea included a railway junction, a gas pipeline and a power line from Russia to South Korea via North Korea, the report said.
The source said talks on humanitarian aid included plans for a shipment of 50,000 tonnes of grain to North Korea.
A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to comment and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) could not be reached for comment late on Wednesday.
Russia and North Korea share a short border, but ties worsened and trade fell steeply after the collapse of the Communist Soviet Union in 1991.
Russia is involved in long-stalled six-party talks aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, but it has far less influence on North Korea than China.
Fradkov was once Russia’s envoy to the European Union and he was prime minister during Vladimir Putin’s presidency. (Reporting by Steve Gutterman, editing by Tim Pearce)