As the world watches with bated breath, the train carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has stealthily crossed into Russia, revealing a tantalizing glimpse into the secretive world of international diplomacy. This clandestine rendezvous with the Russian state comes after an official statement from the Kremlin, announcing an impending meeting between Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming days. The destination of this high-stakes encounter remains shrouded in mystery.
Kim Jong Un’s preferred mode of international travel harks back to a bygone era – a private train that combines opulence with discretion. Armored and wrapped in an aura of secrecy, the train’s carriages are adorned with a vintage green and yellow trim, providing an almost retro charm. Though Kim has occasionally taken to the skies, this train was his trusted companion for his last visit to Russia in 2019, his dramatic summit with former US President Donald Trump, and a pivotal visit to Beijing in 2018.
Comfort is evidently a priority for the North Korean leader, as this train moves at a leisurely pace, capable of reaching speeds of only about 50 kilometers per hour (31 miles per hour). But its history boasts of a more luxurious past, as recounted by Russian official Konstantin Pulikovsky, who accompanied Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, on a lavish three-week journey to Moscow in 2002. Reports from that era speak of cases of expensive French wine and lavish feasts featuring fresh lobster and pork barbecue.
The intrigue deepens as Kim’s train has been spotted at the Ussuriysk railway station in eastern Russia, approximately 98 kilometers (61 miles) north of Vladivostok. The sighting sparks speculation that Kim and Putin may be planning a rendezvous elsewhere in this remote region, far from prying eyes.
Amidst this high-stakes diplomatic dance, South Korea maintains a vigilant eye on the developments. Concerns arise that any potential arms deals between Russia and North Korea could breach sanctions imposed on the latter due to its nuclear weapons program. South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs asserts its commitment to upholding United Nations Security Council resolutions, urging the avoidance of military cooperation with North Korea that could disrupt international peace and stability.
In the midst of Washington’s warnings against any arms trade between Russia and North Korea, the Kremlin remains resolute, emphasizing the paramount importance of the interests of their two nations. For now, the world holds its breath, waiting for the secrets concealed within the armored train to unfold against the backdrop of international intrigue.