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WASHINGTON (CAP) - Vice President Joe Biden played host yesterday to Kim Jong-un, son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, in an impromptu gathering that culminated with the Obama administration's first officially sanctioned state take-out. The two enjoyed large roast beef sandwiches from nearby Potbelly's, along with a side order of potato salad and a couple of diet sodas.
"It's all about reaching across the aisle - or the Pacific, as it were," said Biden as he licked mayonnaise off his fingers. "So when they asked if we wanted pick-up or delivery, I let Jong-un make the call.
"Mr President, this is a big fucking sub," Biden said when Obama poked his head into the room and asked how the meal was going.
News of the informal luncheon came as President Obama feted Chinese president Hu Jintao over a state dinner replete with dry aged rib eye, double stuffed potatoes and creamed spinach. Although the vice president did attend the dinner, he was running late and sources say he was a little upset at having to sit at the kids' table.
"I lost track how many times his knees bumped the table and he knocked over Malia's milk," said one aide. "Besides, he's not a fancy state dinner type of guy. You know Joe - he prefers to dig in and get his hands dirty.
"Of course, that leads to us constantly reminding him to wash his hands before he eats," noted the aide.
The two heads-of-state sidekicks discussed a number of dining options with the help of Joe's Merrill Lunch advisor before settling on the sandwiches. Biden had originally suggested he and Jong-un order out Chinese but backed off that recommendation at the urging of his staff.
"The way Joe overdoes it with spare ribs and crab rangoon, he'd easily set relations with the East back a good 30 years if anyone had to witness that," said another aide.
Critics question whether Biden's choice of cuisine and truck-stop tactics are truly beneficial to the country's relationship with North Korea, pointing to his failed attempt to win over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a friendly game of Wii bowling during his visit to that country in March, 2010.
"In my defense, I had no idea he was such a sore loser," Biden pointed out at the time.
However, Democrats say Biden's unorthodox actions are simply part of the administration's Beer Diplomacy approach and not without precedent. Many have noted George W Bush's 2005 trip to Japan when he offered Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi a Froot Loops cereal straw during their initial sit-down meeting.
"Although I think the etiquette lessons kicked in and he felt more compelled to share than anything else," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). "What few people know is that he kept the more delicious Cocoa Krispies cereal straw for himself."
With the first successful state take-out now behind them, White House officials say Obama and Biden have begun working on plans for a state sleepover and slumber party. Sources say the pair believe many strained relations with world leaders can easily be fixed with a bag of popcorn and a couple scary movies.