- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
Kim Jong-il’s Russia trip focusing on energy
Question of the Day
MOSCOW (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-il continued a rare trip to Russia on Monday, traveling in his private armored train through the country’s resource-rich far east ahead of a summit with President Dmitry Medvedev expected to focus on energy cooperation and nuclear disarmament.
Mr. Kim‘s visit began Saturday at the invitation of Mr. Medvedev. The two leaders are to meet later this week to discuss the possible relay of Russian natural gas and other energy to North and South Korea and long-stalled negotiations on ending the North’s nuclear ambitions in return for aid.
Flags of the two countries fluttered at railway stations where Mr. Kim stopped, North Korean state media said, with military bands playing welcoming music and Russian women in national dress offering Mr. Kim traditional gifts of bread and salt.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, while on a visit to Mongolia, said Monday that “if (Kim) frequently visits and looks at an open society, that will eventually positively affect North Korea’s economic development,” spokesman Park Jeong-ha said, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
A regional news agency, PortAmur, posted some of the only photographs of Mr. Kim‘s visit, showing the 69-year-old leader wearing his trademark Mao-style khaki jumpsuit. In all but one of the photographs he is seen wearing dark sunglasses. He traded them for regular eyeglasses when presented with a framed picture as a gift.
Mr. Kim left Amur for his next destination Sunday, but North Korea didn’t say exactly where his train was heading. Yonhap, however, citing an unidentified Russian intelligence source, reported Monday that Mr. Kim‘s train could be heading toward the city of Skovorodino. It may stop there before reaching Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia, a Buddhist province near Lake Baikal, for a summit with Mr. Medvedev.
Yonhap said Skovorodino is the starting point for a newly built 620-mile oil pipeline linking eastern Siberia and China. It said Mr. Kim’s expected stop at Skovorodino could be related to Russia’s proposal to provide energy to the Korean Peninsula.
South Korean media are speculating that the Kim-Medvedev summit could take place Tuesday or Wednesday. A key topic could be the construction of a pipeline that would stream Russian natural gas to both Koreas.
Russian and South Korean officials want North Korea to allow them to construct such a pipeline through the North’s territory so that Russia could sell more natural gas to the South at a cheaper price. South Korea media said the North could earn up to $100 million every year, but negotiations haven’t reported much progress because of the nuclear dispute.
Officials from Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled natural gas giant, visited the North in early July for talks on the gas pipeline. North Korean officials at the time positively reacted to the project, a change from a previous reluctant position, according to South Korea’s Foreign Ministry.
The JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, however, raised worries Monday that the North could abruptly shut down gas supply, depending on relations with the South.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson: Gays 'wont inherit the kingdom of God'
- John McCain to Harry Reid: Ill kick the crap out of you
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Nobody likes to talk about dying. But we can help.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow