North Korean leader Kim Jong-il did not attend any public events on the second day of his visit to Siberia, leaving it to pundits to speculate what the secretive North Korean leader may have been up to.
Diplomatic sources speculated that he may have visited Skovorodino, a town in Amur Oblast where a Russia-China crude oil pipeline starts. Kim is interested in securing energy resources for his impoverished country and may have taken a look to review a pipeline project involving both Koreas and Russia, they said.
The Russian business daily Vedomosti said Kim will meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday, not at a military base in Ulan-Ude, as previously reported, but at a government guest house nearby.
A special warfare unit of the 11th Airborne Brigade in the Russian Eastern Military District in Ulan-Ude is preparing to demonstrate various activities for Kim, including detonation of bombs, laying of mines, penetration of a building, and hand-to-hand combat with terrorists, the Russian daily Izvestia reported.
The daily quoted a Russian Defense Ministry official as saying, "Airborne troops and a scout search team are awaiting North Korean guests, but we will not show any new weapons to Kim Jong-il." It added this suggests Russia decided not to sell any up-to-date weapons to the North.