Aug. 23 - North Korean President Kim Jong-Il arrives in Siberia for a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, his first visit to the country in nine years. Nick Rowlands reports.
A motorcade believed to be carrying President Kim Jong-Il on one of his rare trips outside North Korea leaves a railway station in Siberia. It's his first visit to Russia in nine years, and he is expected to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev here in Ulan-Ude on Wednesday. Kim Jong-Il is afraid of flying, and crossed the border into Russia near the Pacific coast in secret on Saturday. After sightseeing on Sunday at a hydroelectric power station, he boarded an armoured train and set off for Ulan-Ude, some four and a half thousand kilometres east of Moscow. Security was tight at the railway station, which was closed for his arrival. Kim Jong-Il has sought help from regional leaders in recent months for his impoverished nation, which is struggling with floods as well as economic sanctions. The visit comes weeks after meetings between North and South Korea, China, and the United States aimed at resuming the stalled talks on the North's nuclear weapons programme. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.