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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Kim Travels to Russia

VLADIVOSTOK, Far East (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is expected to arrive in Vladivostok on Thursday, the local customs service said.

A spokeswoman said Wednesday that Kim was scheduled to arrive at the border for customs clearance at 9:30 a.m. The Foreign Ministry, presidential press office and the North Korean Embassy said they had no information on such a trip.

Kim is expected to ride the Trans-Siberian railway to Moscow, where he is scheduled to arrive Aug. 4 for a two-day visit, Itar-Tass said.

Moiseyev Trial

MOSCOW (AP) — A former high-level Russian diplomat on trial on charges of spying for South Korea on Tuesday requested his case be heard by the Supreme Court in protest of the fourth transfer of his case to a new judge, his lawyer said.

Valentin Moiseyev was convicted by the Moscow City Court in December 1999. The Supreme Court overturned that conviction in June 2000 and ordered a new trial in the city court. Since then, the case has been transfered among four judges due to illness or vacation. Each time it is transferred, the trial must start from the beginning. The trial began for the fourth time July 20.

"He [Moiseyev] has no trust in the court, which for the past year has not been able to bring a guilty verdict or a not-guilty verdict or any verdict at all," lawyer Yury Gervis said.

Leaving Vietnam

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russia will abandon its military base at Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay, once used by Americans and Japanese, because it cannot afford to keep it, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Moscow has had use of the base rent-free from its former Communist ally since 1979, but the lease expires in 2004. Hanoi had insisted that Russia pay to rent the base if it wanted to keep it. "We have to leave," Interfax quoted Ivanov as saying. He added that the price demanded did not match the base’s function.

Nuclear Malfunctions

MOSCOW (AP) — The state nuclear power company Tuesday reported two malfunctions at its Balakov plant, but said both were minor and radiation levels remained within accepted norms.

The first malfunction at the plant near Saratov occurred Sunday when a reactor’s power was reduced due to a failed water pump, Rosenergoatom said. On Monday, another reactor was taken off line due to an oil pipe malfunction, the company said.

Argun Violence

VLADIKAVKAZ, North Ossetia (AP) — Two soldiers were killed in a market in the Chechen town of Argun, and the military would soon sweep the town for rebels, an official in the pro-Moscow Chechen administration said Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

The military sweeps, usually involving widespread detentions of fighting-age males, have provoked civilian protests of rough treatment by troops.

President Vladimir Putin’s human rights representative for Chechnya, Viktor Kalamanov, held a closed meeting in Grozny on Wednesday with prosecutors.

He told Interfax that he had demanded information on the cases of people who had been detained over the past two weeks in Chechnya.