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
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)
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(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.

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