Live lobsters, cases of wine and bulletproof carriages: Inside Kim Jong-un’s train to meet Putin

Kim Jong-un appears to have chosen his favoured means of transportation for his first journey outside North Korea in nearly four years – a lavishly adorned, heavily fortified and slow-moving train.

Mr Kim reached Russia on Tuesday after boarding the train on Sunday. He was accompanied by top arms industry and military officials besides North Korea’s foreign minister.

The green-coloured and armoured train carrying Mr Kim reached Khasan station, the main rail gateway to Russia’s far east that is about 127km south of Vladivostok, on Monday, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported, citing an unnamed Russian official source.

Vladimir Putin and Mr Kim are expected to discuss arms shipments that could aid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, in a regional summit taking place in Vladivostok. The trip has happened as Russia leans closer to the east Asian country even though Washington has warned against an arms deal.

Few have travelled in the North Korean leader’s private train besides the isolated country’s political elite, but pictures posted in state media depict a train full of luxuries.

The train cars are painted military green on the outside and have a yellow streak across the body. The interiors are glossy white, with long tables for meetings. Other pictures also show red leather armchairs.

The train has conference rooms, audience chambers and bedrooms, with satellite phones and flat-screen televisions installed for briefings.

“It was possible to order any dish of Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and French cuisine,” Russian official Konstantin Pulikovsky had recounted, while on a trip across Russia’s far east with Kim Jong Il in a book called Orient Express, the Washington Post had reported.

The Russian official had said there were cases of Bordeaux and Burgundy wines and live lobsters. The travellers were reportedly entertained by live singers who were introduced as “lady conductors”.

The train has a total of 90 rail cars, with some designed to carry vehicles as well. Reports say each carriage is bulletproof, making the train thousands of pounds heavier.

The train is, hence, slow.

The reduced speed of the train is frequently attributed to its substantial weight – a consequence of the additional armour incorporated into the train’s structure.

Georgy Toloraya, another Russian diplomat who travelled with Kim Jong Il in 2001, said, during an examination of the train by Russian technicians, they discovered armoured sheets positioned beneath two primary railcars employed by the North Korean leader for both residential and official functions.

The technicians reportedly also discovered that the railcars originated from the Soviet Union, but had undergone extensive modifications at some later date.

According to a report by South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, approximately 100 security agents are dispatched in advance to railway stations to conduct security sweeps for potential threats.

In this photo taken from video released by telegram channel @primamedia on 12 September, a green train with yellow trimmings, resembling one used by Kim Jong-un on his previous travels, is seen steaming near Khasan, about 127km south of Vladivostok

Power is deliberately shut off at these stations to prevent other trains from departing.

The report from 2009 also noted the presence of a substantial logistical support contingent, which includes Soviet-made Il-76 air force transport planes and Mi-17 helicopters.

This picture showing Kim Jong-un taken on 10 September 2023 and released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 12 September

A green train with yellow trimmings, resembling one used by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on his previous travels, is seen steaming by a slogan which reads ‘Towards a new victory’ on the North Korea border with Russia and China seen from China’s Yiyanwang Three Kingdoms viewing platform in Fangchuan in northeastern China’s Jilin province on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023

Related Articles

Bir cavab yazın

Sizin e-poçt ünvanınız dərc edilməyəcəkdir. Gərəkli sahələr * ilə işarələnmişdir

Back to top button