For his first known trip outside of North Korea in almost four years, Kim Jong Un has likely returned to a favored mode of transport: a luxuriously decorated, heavily armored and exceptionally slow-moving train.
South Korean media reported Monday, citing government officials, that the Kim’s train appears to have left the capital Pyongyang to start its long journey.
U.S. officials have said that Kim is likely to meet President Vladimir Putin in the Russian port city of Vladivostok, a little over 300 miles from the North Korean border, where they are expected to discuss arms shipments that could aid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
Like his father, who was reportedly scared of flying, and his grandfather — Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea — Kim has predominantly traveled internationally in a specially manufactured train, an unusual mode of transport for a 21st-century world leader.
However, for a high-profile diplomatic summit with President Donald Trump in 2018 he used a Boeing 747 operated by Air China, and he used a North Korean airplane to make the relatively short trip to the Chinese city of Dalian in 2018, for his second meeting with President Xi Jinping.