Kim Jong-un, North Korea's leader, recently arrived in Russia aboard a lavish, heavily fortified train, coated in an olive-green hue, to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The train journey continues a family tradition started by Kim's grandfather, Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea. Accompanying Kim were high-ranking military officers, officials from North Korea's arms industry, and the nation's defense minister.
The discussions with Russian leaders are expected to focus on Moscow's demand for additional weaponry for its ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Known as the "Moving Fortress," Kim's train is anything but ordinary. It's outfitted with bulletproof materials and comes with a range of amenities including conference rooms, audience halls, bedrooms, and state-of-the-art communication devices like satellite phones and flat-screen TVs for briefings. The interior is plush, featuring glossy white walls, elongated meeting tables, and luxurious red leather armchairs.
Take a look at his armored train in the video below
According to the Independent, the train is estimated to consist of about 90 railcars, some of which carry armored Mercedes vehicles for certain trips.
Despite its luxurious features, the train's modifications limit its maximum speed to around 55 miles per hour, making it a slower but less noticeable option compared to air travel.
"Trains offer a safer and more comfortable mode of transportation for a North Korean leader than any other means," said Ahn Byung-min, a South Korean expert on North Korean transportation, as reported by Reuters.
The train also boasts extensive security measures. South Korea's Ministry of Unification states that the train is armed with attack weapons and even has a helicopter ready for emergency evacuations. Around 100 security agents are responsible for sweeping railway stations, and the train usually travels with two additional trains—one for security screenings and another for bodyguards and staff.
The train's luxurious history was documented in the book "Orient Express" by Russian official Konstantin Pulikovsky, who had traveled with Kim Jong-il, Kim's father. The book describes a gourmet menu featuring a diverse array of international dishes and high-end wines, as well as onboard entertainment provided by young female performers known as "lady conductors."
Kim has previously used this mode of travel for diplomatic visits to China, Vietnam, and Russia. These journeys are often portrayed in North Korean state media as efforts by the leader to engage with everyday citizens across the country.