Kim Jong-un Gets off Train for Smoke on Way to Vietnam to Meet Trump

Published February 26th, 2019 - 11:41 GMT
Kim Jong-un Smoke Cigarette as He Arrives in Vietnam for Talks With Trump  (Twitter)
Kim Jong-un Smoke Cigarette as He Arrives in Vietnam for Talks With Trump (Twitter)

Running a country can be stressful - so it's perhaps no surprise that Kim Jong-un needed to blow off some steam while on his way to meet Donald Trump in Vietnam.

During his mammoth 70-hour train journey from Pyongyang to Vietnam, the North Korean dictator stopped at Nanning station, in southern China, for a cigarette break.

 

Kim was spotted walking along the platform around 3.30am during a half-hour stop when he smoked a cigarette or two alongside some of his most trusted aides.

 

Wife Ri Sol-ju was seen talking to another woman on the platform, while Kim held discussions with his top diplomat Ri Yong-ho.

His sister Kim Yo-jong was also seen carrying a large crystal ashtray for the dictator to stub his cigarettes in.

After the brief stop Kim and his entourage climbed back on board the heavily armoured train and were taken to Dong Dang, in northern Vietnam.

From there, Kim swapped the train for his limousine which drove him to Hanoi, where he arrived on Tuesday morning.

He is thought to be staying at the Melia Hanoi hotel located in the city center ahead of his summit with President Trump, who is en route to the country.

While Kim travelled to his previous summit in Singapore by plane, the North Korean prefers to travel by train where possible, so fearful is he of being assassinated.

He also travels surrounded by bodyguards, 12 of whom were seen running alongside his limousine as he arrived in Dong Dang, as they have at previous summits.

In one comical moment, a bodyguard was seen sprinting off Kim's train to stand beside the leader as he shook hands with a Vietnamese dignitary, having apparently left his leader unguarded for a moment.

Trump is expected to arrive later on Tuesday ahead of his first one-on-one meeting with Kim on Wednesday evening.

The pair will then share a dinner alongside two guests and their interpreters before more formal meetings are held on Thursday.

Trump’s previous summit with Kim, held in Singapore in June, resulted in a vague joint statement that critics blasted for lacking specific measurable steps.

However, the pair did sign a joint pledge to ‘work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.’

This summit will attempt to flesh out that commitment and define what 'denuclearization' means for both sides.

Trump set an optimistic tone on Twitter as prepared to head east: ‘Meeting for breakfast with our Nation’s Governors - then off to Vietnam for a very important Summit with Kim Jong Un.

'With complete Denuclearization, North Korea will rapidly become an Economic Powerhouse. Without it, just more of the same.

'Chairman Kim will make a wise decision!'

Other steps under consideration will be declaring an official end to the Korean War, which began in 1950 and has never officially ended.

South Korea has already hinted that a peace accord may be one outcome of the summit, but it is yet to be seen whether Trump and Kim will agree to it.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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