What We Know About Kim Jong-un’s Bulletproof Prepare

When exterior intelligence officers search proof of North Korea’s chief, Kim Jong-un, leaving on a visit overseas — like his journey to Russia this week to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin — they at all times search for the whereabouts of a prepare painted a colorless inexperienced.

One such prepare was noticed on Monday heading north, close to the place the borders of North Korea, Russia and China meet. It was shifting within the path of Vladivostok, the place Mr. Putin is attending an financial discussion board. On Tuesday, North Korean state media confirmed that Mr. Kim had certainly left Pyongyang, the North’s capital, for Russia by prepare. South Korean officers stated quickly afterward that he had crossed the border.

The inexperienced prepare that officers search for is the particular bulletproof one which Mr. Kim — and his father and grandfather, who dominated North Korea earlier than him — have used to go to China, Russia or the previous Soviet Union. Members of the family had been stated to lack confidence that they might make a protected long-distance journey utilizing certainly one of their nation’s decrepit fleet of outdated Soviet-era passenger jets.

Whereas a lot about Mr. Kim’s newest journey stays a thriller, here’s what we all know in regards to the prepare:

A lot of what’s recognized in regards to the prepare comes from intelligence studies, recollections of officers permitted to journey on board in earlier eras and uncommon state information media footage.

There are believed to be no less than 90 high-security carriages on the chief’s disposal, in line with a 2009 South Korea information report that relied on labeled info. In accordance with the report, written throughout the period of Mr. Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, three trains function every time the chief travels: an advance safety prepare, the chief’s prepare and a 3rd carrying further bodyguards and provides.

Every of the carriages is bulletproof, making them hundreds of kilos heavier than common. That further weight interprets to a gradual trip. The trains are estimated to succeed in a most velocity of simply 37 miles per hour.

In Kim Jong-il’s time, in line with the 2009 report, 100 safety officers traveled within the advance prepare, looking stations for bombs and different threats and testing the protection of the monitor. Moreover, army helicopters and airplanes would fly overhead to offer extra safety.

Twenty prepare stations have been constructed throughout North Korea only for the chief’s private use, in line with the report.

North Korea’s state information media sometimes coated the leaders from contained in the prepare, providing a uncommon glimpse at among the many specialised automobiles.

When Kim Jong-un made his first state go to to China in 2018, he met a senior Chinese language official who boarded his prepare in a carriage lined with thick pink sofas.

In 2015, Kim Jong-un was seen seated at an extended white desk in what seemed to be a convention room. In a comparable video from 2011, his father, Kim Jong-il, is seen holding court docket in the identical compartment. Within the older video, a flat-screen tv is clearly seen, and within the newer one, a laptop computer laptop may be seen.

In footage of the elder Mr. Kim’s journeys, the chief is seen in an viewers automotive with plush seats; main a gathering in a eating automotive; and attending a banquet in a automotive paneled in darkish wooden. In that footage, Mr. Kim is seated at a desk full of meals as entertainers carry out in tuxedos and night robes.

The previous chief’s workplace automotive, together with a desk and laptop, is preserved as a museum exhibit on the Kumsusan Palace of the Solar, Kim Jong-il’s mausoleum in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

Kim Jong-il was rumored to have had a worry of flying and most popular to journey on his prepare, which was outfitted with trendy communications know-how and a big employees that catered to his whims.

“It was doable to order any dish of Russian, Chinese language, Korean, Japanese and French delicacies,” wrote Konstantin Pulikovsky, a Russian official who traveled with the previous chief throughout a 2011 journey by Russia.

Mr. Kim insisted that reside lobster and different recent delicacies be delivered to the prepare because it crossed Siberia on journeys to Russia. Circumstances of Bordeaux and Burgundy wines had been flown in from Paris, Mr. Pulikovsky recounted in his memoir of the journey, “Orient Categorical.”

When bored, Mr. Kim relied on a bunch of feminine entertainers referred to as woman conductors to serenade him in Korean and Russian.

It’s unknown what his son, Kim Jong-un, does for nourishment and leisure whereas on board, however the youthful Mr. Kim’s urge for food is understood to rival his father’s. He reportedly prefers Swiss cheese, Cristal Champagne and Hennessy cognac.

The prepare has been on the middle of a number of tragic occasions in trendy North Korean historical past.

Greater than 160 individuals had been killed in Ryongchon, close to the Chinese language border, in April 2004, when trains laden with flamable materials exploded due to a collision or {an electrical} malfunction.

There have been preliminary rumors that the explosion was a part of an try on Kim Jong-il’s life as a result of the chief’s prepare had handed by the city hours earlier.

In accordance with the state information media, he would later die aboard his prepare after a coronary heart assault in December 2011.

After he turned chief, Kim Jong-un visited China 4 instances and Vietnam as soon as — all by prepare. He additionally visited Russia by prepare and met Mr. Putin in 2019.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read More