Russia to begin wheat deliveries to North Korea in September

Russia will begin deliveries of wheat to North Korea next month, a top official said on Friday.

Earlier this month, Russia said it was giving 50,000 tons of wheat to Pyongyang.

The secretive communist state is facing severe food shortages and increasing international isolation over its nuclear program.

During a rare visit to Russia earlier this week, North Korea’s reclusive leader, Kim Jong-il, said his country was ready to return to international talks on denuclearization.

The deliveries will be made by a new rail link between the Russian town of Khasan and the North’s Rajin.

“Wheat deliveries will begin via the Khasan station in September,” Viktor Ishayev, the presidential envoy to Russia’s Far East, told reporters in Khabarovsk. “This is humanitarian aid to North Korea from Russia and other countries.”

China announced on Friday it was looking to expand its military cooperation with North Korea.

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