Leader Kim Jong-Il has six special luxury trains at his disposal for travel around North Korea plus 19 stations built for his exclusive use, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday.I don't know why, but that description has me imagining the luxurious caboose in which Jim West lived on the show ancient TV show, "Wild, Wild West."
The trains with a total of 90 carriages are armoured and contain conference rooms, an audience chamber and bedrooms, Chosun Ilbo newspaper said, citing information from US and South Korean intelligence authorities.
It was not possible to confirm the report. But Kim is said to have a fear of flying and to prefer rail travel at home and abroad. He travelled by train on his last known trip to China in January 2006.
Satellite phone connections and flat-screen TVs are installed so the leader can be briefed and issue orders, the newspaper said. The special stations are no more than 30 kilometres (18 miles) from his private retreats, it added.
The train carrying the leader of the impoverished nation is preceded by an advance train to ensure the tracks are safe and followed by another one carrying bodyguards and support personnel, the newspaper said.The Dear Leader's fear of flying is notorious, but if I were Kim Jong-il, I'd be rethinking that whole notion. After all, no one has ever tried to blow up the sky while I was in it.
About 100 security agents are sent in advance to stations to sweep the area for bombs, and shut off the power on other tracks so that no other trains can move, the paper said.
North Korean military planes and helicopters provide security support, it said.