Kim Jong Il Enjoys 'Fun Trip' to Russia

It's trains, yachts, and limos for North Korea's aerophobic leader

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 24, 2011 9:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – So what did the Kim Jong Il think of his multi-day journey from Pyongyang to a small Siberian town on a custom-built, armor-plated train to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev? "We're having a fun trip," said the aerophobic North Korean leader. In his first visit to Russia since 2002, Kim met Medvedev to discuss nuclear disarmament, energy deals, and economic aid—and to have "fun" by way of a visit to a hydroelectric plant on Sunday, a yacht tour of Lake Baikal yesterday, and a meal of traditional Buryat meat dumplings and fish, reports the AP.

Kim is reportedly eager to seek aid in advance of a big national event next year: the 100th anniversary of the birth of his father, Kim Il Sung. Side note: It's not the first time the leader kicked back lately—before this trip, he enjoyed a few days sailing in his luxury yacht off the east coast of Korea, even as nearly 24,000 North Koreans were left homeless by crushing floods, reports the Chosun Ilbo.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, left, listens to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting at a military garrison, outside Ulan-Ude, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived Wednesday in remote eastern Siberia for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il expected to focus on...
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, left, listens to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting at a military garrison, outside Ulan-Ude, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev...   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il poses during a meeting with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev at Sosnovy Bor Military Garrison, Zaigrayevsky District, Buryatia outside Ulan-Ude on August 24, 2011. North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il on Wednesday met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Siberia for secrecy-shrouded summit talks on energy and food...
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il poses during a meeting with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev at Sosnovy Bor Military Garrison, Zaigrayevsky District, Buryatia outside Ulan-Ude on August 24, 2011. North...   (Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il (R) speaks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) during their meeting at Sosnovy Bor Military Garrison, Zaigrayevsky District, Buryatia outside Ulan-Ude on August 24, 2011. North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il on Wednesday met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Siberia for secrecy-shrouded summit talks on energy...
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il (R) speaks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) during their meeting at Sosnovy Bor Military Garrison, Zaigrayevsky District, Buryatia outside Ulan-Ude on August...   (Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, speaks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, during a meeting an a military garrison, outside Ulan-Ude, earlier today.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, speaks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, during a meeting an a military garrison, outside Ulan-Ude, earlier today.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev walk during a meeting at a military garrison, outside Ulan-Ude, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived Wednesday in remote eastern Siberia for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il expected to focus on...
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev walk during a meeting at a military garrison, outside Ulan-Ude, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev...   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)
ADDS PLACE THEY MET - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, at a military garrison outside Ulan-Ude in Byryatia, on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Medvedev arrived Wednesday in remote eastern Siberia for a summit with the North Korean leader expected to focus...
ADDS PLACE THEY MET - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, at a military garrison outside Ulan-Ude in Byryatia, on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Medvedev...   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il speaks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (not pictured) during their meeting at Sosnovy Bor Military Garrison, Zaigrayevsky District, Buryatia outside Ulan-Ude on August 24, 2011. North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il met today Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Siberia for secrecy-shrouded summit talks on energy and...
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il speaks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (not pictured) during their meeting at Sosnovy Bor Military Garrison, Zaigrayevsky District, Buryatia outside Ulan-Ude on...   (Getty Images)
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il outside Ulan-Ude in Byryatia, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Medvedev arrived Wednesday in remote eastern Siberia for a summit with Kim expected to focus on energy deals, economic aid and nuclear disarmament.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il outside Ulan-Ude in Byryatia, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Medvedev arrived Wednesday in remote eastern Siberia...   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)
A special armored train, foreground, transporting North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is seen parked at a railway station in Ulan-Ude, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to visit the Siberian city the following day, apparently to hold summit talks with Kim, according to a...
A special armored train, foreground, transporting North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is seen parked at a railway station in Ulan-Ude, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is...   (AP Photo/Anna Ogorodnik)
A limousine without license plates reportedly carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is seen in Ulan-Ude, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to visit the Siberian city the following day, apparently to hold summit talks with Kim, according to a Russian government source.
A limousine without license plates reportedly carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is seen in Ulan-Ude, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to visit the Siberian...   (AP Photo/Anna Ogorodnik)
Women dressed in traditional Russian costumes welcome North Korean leader Kim Jong-IlNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (2-nd R) at Novobureisky station on August 21, 2011, 175 kilometers east from the town of Blagoveshchensk. Kim Jong-Il arrived in Russia for his first visit in nearly a decade, reaching out to the...
Women dressed in traditional Russian costumes welcome North Korean leader Kim Jong-IlNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (2-nd R) at Novobureisky station on August 21, 2011, 175 kilometers east from the town...   (Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (2-nd R) walks along the station of Novobureisky on August 21, 2011, 175 kilometers east from the town of Blagoveshchensk. Kim Jong-Il arrived in Russia on August 20 for his first visit in nearly a decade, reaching out to the giant neighbour as Pyongyang battles...
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (2-nd R) walks along the station of Novobureisky on August 21, 2011, 175 kilometers east from the town of Blagoveshchensk. Kim Jong-Il arrived in Russia on August 20 for...   (Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is about to write in a guest of honor book at the station of Novobureisky on August 21, 2011, 175 kilometers east from the town of Blagoveshchensk. Kim Jong-Il arrived in Russia on August 20, for his first visit in nearly a decade, reaching out...
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is about to write in a guest of honor book at the station of Novobureisky on August 21, 2011, 175 kilometers east from the town of Blagoveshchensk. Kim Jong-Il arrived...   (Getty Images)
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