North Korean leader Kim Jong Un addresses a ruling party conference in Pyongyang
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un addresses a ruling party conference in Pyongyang

Six unusual travel habits of North Korea's Kim Jong-Un

Noodle machines and 'personal toilets' travel everywhere with secretive leader

Mark Abadi
Monday 07 May 2018 12:27
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has reportedly agreed to meet with President Donald Trump in the Korean demilitarised zone, according to news reports on Tuesday.

For Kim, the meeting will mark a rare moment in the public eye. The enigmatic leader visited the DMZ last week to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-In, and in March he travelled to China to meet with President Xi Jinping, but otherwise has not left his native country since he took office in 2011.

Kim's previous turns on the international stage have revealed some of his curious travel habits, like his need for a "personal toilet" to accompany him and his insistence on bringing a special noodle machine on trips.

Read on to read about the unusual things Kim does when he goes on international trips.

A human motorcade surrounded his car

North Korean security guards run alongside a car carrying Kim Jong Un (AP Images )

As Kim's car arrived at the start of peace talks with South Korean president Moon Jae-In last week, cameras caught an unusual sight: a fleet of 12 bodyguards, dressed in full suits and black dress shoes, surrounding the vehicle and running alongside it.

The "human motorcade," as some news outlets called it, kept pace with the vehicle and stayed in perfect formation as it drove around turns in the road.

He rides a slow-moving, bulletproof train

Kim Jong-un waves from inside his train as he prepares to depart from Beijing, in this photo released by KCNA

Most world leaders travel by aeroplane, but much like his father and grandfather, Kim Jong-Un's preferred mode of transportation is private train.

Whenever Kim travels, as he did to China last month, three trains are needed: an advance security train, Kim's train, and another train for bodyguards and supplies, according to The New York Times.

Each of Kim's 90 high-security carriages is bulletproof, and with all the extra weight, the trains top out at just 37 miles per hour, The Times reported.

He doesn't use public restrooms when he travels — he uses a 'personal toilet' instead

Apparently, Kim Jong-un doesn't use public restrooms when he travels, instead opting for a "personal toilet," Lee Yun-keol, a former member of the North Korean Guard Command unit, told The Washington Post. And the reason has nothing to do with cleanliness.

"Rather than using a public restroom, the leader of North Korea has a personal toilet that follows him around when he travels," Lee told The Post. "The leader’s excretions contain information about his health status so they can’t be left behind."

In 2015, South Korean news agency DailyNK reported that a customized bathroom is built into one of the cars of Kim's convoy of armoured vehicles.

He brought a special noodle machine from Pyongyang

Kim's meticulously planned meeting with South Korean president Moon Jae-In accounted for the personal tastes of both leaders.

For Kim, that meant bringing a special noodle machine to make "naengmyeon," a dish of cold buckwheat noodles. According to Vice News, the meal was prepared by the head chef at Okryu-gwan, a famous restaurant in Pyongyang.

His only international visit was shrouded in secrecy

(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

Kim's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March was notable for a few reasons. For one, it was Kim's first international trip since assuming power in 2011, but the visit was also noteworthy for the mystery surrounding it. Kim's visit wasn't made public until it was already over, confirming for intrigued observers that the armoured train that arrived in Beijing was indeed carrying the North Korean leader.

And he's never far away from one of his private airstrips

Kim is known for his penchant for his extravagant tastes, and that applies for state travel as well. The leader reportedly ordered the construction of five private airstrips for his personal use, according to The Telegraph.

The airstrips are located next to Kim's multiple palaces and private train stations, The Telegraph reported.

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