World

Kim Jong Un's Mysterious Party Train Full of Wine Reportedly Sighted in China

When a bulky green train rolled into Beijing accompanied by a large security detail, rumors quickly swirled that perhaps North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had ventured outside of his country for the first time since taking power in 2011. 

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported it was Kim making the surprise visit this week. CNN, meanwhile, reported that an unnamed official said there was a "strong possibility" Kim made the trip to Beijing ahead of his planned sit-down with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and a potential meeting with President Donald Trump.

While it's unclear what Kim (or perhaps just a top North Korean leader) might have done in China on this short trip, we do know some details about the plodding green train—which Bloomberg noted looked like the one used by Kim's father, former leader Kim Jong Il—that tipped folks off about the potential Kim visit. 

Riding in it is a lavish affair, according to The New York Times, which noted a Russian official who rode in it during Kim Jong Il's reign said you could order delicacies like lobster and choose a drink from cases of Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. There was also karaoke, heavy drinking and pork barbecue, noted the Times.

A 2009 report from South Korean media based on intelligence gathered during Kim Jong Il's reign found that the train was heavily armored, was typically preceded by an advance team that would sweep for bombs, featured full conference rooms and bedrooms, and would move, on average, at just about 40 miles per hour.

Or, as the Times described Kim Jong Un's "mystery train" in a headline Tuesday: It's "bulletproof, slow and full of wine." 

While it is not 100 percent clear if the train spotted this week was the exact train Kim Jong Il used—as with most things involving the North Korean regime, the apparent visit was shrouded in secrecy—the 21-car train with tinted windows certainly "bore the hallmarks" of the way previous North Korean leaders traveled, the Times noted.

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