North korean leader explores city where he will meet with medvedev

MOSCOW – The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, spent the fourth day of a weeklong Siberian train ride in the city of Ulan Ude, where he was shown an aircraft factory after taking a boat ride on Lake Baikal and visiting the infrastructure of a tourist zone that is under construction, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia was flying in to meet Mr. Kim in Ulan Ude on Wednesday, according to South Korean and Russian media reports. Mr. Kim’s trip on his personal armored train, like earlier ones in 2001 and 2002, has been surrounded by secrecy and high security. Journalists have been kept away and he has not made a public appearance.

Interfax said local residents were complaining on Internet forums about traffic jams and security measures and said the police were going house to house and making lists of residents in certain areas. “They said not to hang sheets out on the balconies and not to look out the window,” one resident wrote.

Although neither side has released any details, the meeting was expected to touch on stalled talks over ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as well as on food aid and a long-stalled plan for a natural gas pipeline that would go through North Korea to South Korea.



North korean leader explores city where he will meet with medvedev