Kim Jong-un’s train trip to Russia: Everything you need to know

Key Points
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has travelled to Russia to meet with Vladimir Putin.
  • He travelled on his bulletproof private train, and the journey is believed to have taken almost a full day.
  • Kim rarely travels and this is believed to be his first international trip in four years.
For most political leaders, international trips are a regular and public occurrence.
But North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s travel is rare and shrouded in heavy security, with limited details released to the public.
On Tuesday, he reportedly arrived in Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin, but he did not travel by plane.

Instead, he is believed to have made the journey via his luxury armoured train, which would have taken almost a full day.

The slow-moving bulletproof train reportedly travels at about 50km/h, and the journey from Pyongyang to Vladivostok is over 1000km.
Kim was reportedly accompanied by top arms industry and military officials and the foreign minister on his journey.

News agency KCNA reported Kim had left.

What do we know about Kim Jong-un’s train?

Photos released by state media showed military honour guards and crowds of people waving flowers and flags as Kim boarded the train earlier this week.
It is believed to be armoured and carries other specialised equipment, and offers luxurious comforts and gourmet meals.

Photos show the train has green carriages and red seats.

Kim Jong-un waves from a green train.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s trip to Russia is believed to have taken almost a full day. Source: AAP / AP

Travelling by train is a tradition in North Korea, and was reportedly started by Kim’s grandfather Kim Il-sung.

Kim’s father reportedly travelled by train due to a fear of flying.

Kim Jong-un has made international trips by plane and has a private jet, but he also travelled by train for his last visit to Russia in 2019.

Why is Kim Jong-un visiting Russia?

Kim’s trip to Russia and meeting with Putin will be a “full-scale visit”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a video posted online.

According to Peskov, the main topic of the talks will be relations between the neighbouring countries.

The New York Times reported on the meeting last week, saying Kim plans to negotiate weapons supplies with Putin.
North Korea has been considered a possible supplier of artillery ammunition and missiles for some time, because it has specialised in modernising Soviet weapons systems.

Additional reporting by AAP

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