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How Kim Jong Un travels overseas

How Kim Jong Un travels overseas
Caption Kim Jong Un signaling before boarding his train for a former trip

Kim Jong Un, North Korea's charismatic leader, has a knack for making captions with his rather unconventional trip choices. As he embarks on his rearmost trip to Vladivostok, Russia, aboard a bulletproof train, the world cannot help but wonder about the peculiar ways he gets around when visiting foreign lands.

All Aboard the Bulletproof Train

Kim Jong Il's armoured train pulling into Moscow in 2001
Kim Jong Il's armoured train pulling into Moscow in 2001

Kim Jong Un is taking a page from his forerunners' book by concluding for a classic North Korean mode of transport - a luxurious bulletproof train. This train is no ordinary ride; it's bruited to offer extravagant amenities, including a restaurant that serves up French wines and epicure delights like fresh lobster. But then is the kick it chugs along at a crawler's pace, hitting a bare 50 kilometers per hour (that's 31 long hauls per hour), thanks to its heavy armor. To put effects in perspective, London's high- speed rail races at about 200 kilometers per hour, while Japan's notorious Shinkansen pellet trains can zoom by at a blazing 320 kilometers per hour. But Kim Jong Un's train is not in a hurry, considering North Korea's rail network is not exactly a model of ultramodern effectiveness.

The Taeyangho Express

The bulletproof train in question goes by the name" Taeyangho," which translates to" sun" in Korean - an homage to North Korea's launching father, Kim Il Sung. The tradition of using lavish trains for cross-country peregrinations was initiated by Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un's granddad, who used his own private train for passages to far- out places like Vietnam and Eastern Europe. Security is consummate when it comes to these train peregrinations. The trains are said to be swarming with security agents who strictly overlook routes and stations for any implicit pitfalls.

Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, who ruled North Korea from 1994 until his end in 2011, was no addict of flying. He famously took a tardy ten- day train trip to Moscow in 2001 for a meeting with Vladimir Putin. A Russian service commander who joined him on the trip revealed the sap about the opulent onboard experience. Imagine being suitable to order dishes from Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and French cookeries! Live lobsters and cases of Bordeaux and Burgundy wine were flown in from Paris. Indeed Vladimir Putin's private train could not contend in terms of comfort, according to the commander.

Another Russian diplomat participated his account of traveling on the same train in 2019, relating delectables like jackass meat and abalones being flown in from Pyongyang, along with riotous quantities of Russian Standard vodka. And let's not forget the onboard entertainment — players and vocalizers assured guests had a memorable time. Still, it's essential to note that North Korean state media reported that Kim Jong Il passed away from a heart attack while aboard this train in 2011.

In November 2009, South Korean diurnal Chosun Ilbo reported that the armored train boasted around 90 carriages, complete with conference apartments, followership chambers, bedrooms, satellite phones, and flat- screen TVs. It's safe to say that comfort and convenience were top precedences.

A Mix of Modern and Classic

Kim Jong Un also uses luxury cars and favours the Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Kim Jong Un also uses luxury cars and favours the Mercedes-Benz S-Class

While Kim Jong Un continues the tradition of train trip, he is also dabbled in other forms of extravagant transportation that stand out starkly against the modest background of North Korean life. Having been educated in Switzerland, Kim Jong Un is no foreigner to flying. In May 2018, he took his first transnational flight as North Korea's leader, jetting off to Dalian, China, to meet President Xi Jinping. Scuttlebutt has it he is used his private spurt for domestic trip within North Korea. His aircraft of choice? The Soviet- made Ilyushin- 62, affectionately known as" Chammae- 1," after North Korea's public raspberry, the goshawk. This aeroplane’s surface proudly displays North Korea's name in Korean, along with the public flag. Outside, it's a ultramodern phenomenon, equipped for work and meetings. Kim Jong Un's preference for luxury buses is another name. During a visit to Beijing in March 2018, he cruised around the megacity in his particular Mercedes- Benz S- Class. Then is the kick the auto was especially transported on board the train. This 2010 Mercedes- Benz S- Class had a hefty price label of roughly$1.8 million. When Kim Jong Un drove it during the majorinter-Korean peak at Panmunjom in 2018, it turned heads. His convoy indeed included a private restroom auto for those" nature calls" moments.

Unsolved Mysteries

While we know about Kim Jong Un's trains, aeroplanes, and fancy buses, there are still plenitude of mystifications girding his other modes of transportation. Some shots from North Korean state media show him on boats, a submarine, motorcars, and indeed a ski lift. One interesting tale involves a yacht spotted during his visit to an army- run fishing station in May 2013. Valued at a cool$ 7 million, the power and import of this luxury vessel remain shrouded in riddle due to transnational warrants on similar wastes. Still, given the hefty price label, numerous suspect it could be Kim Jong Un's prized possession.

In June 2015, a keen- eyed experimenter from the US- Korea Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies spotted a new heliport at Kim Jong Un's lakeside manor in South Pyongan fiefdom. This discovery only adds to the conspiracy girding his implicit use of copters.

Kim Jong Un's quirky choices when it comes to travel continue to allure the world. They offer us a regard into the life of an enigmatic leader with unique tastes and an unvarying commitment to icing his safety and comfort, indeed when he is on the move.

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