Hidden TV cameras caught Kim Jong Un taking a cigarette break in China on his epic train journey to his summit with Trump

TBS-JNNNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un lights a cigarette at China’s Nanning rail station on his way to Vietnam.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was spotted smoking a cigarette early Tuesday during a break on his 2,000-mile train journey to meet US President Donald Trump in Vietnam.
  • Japan News Network filmed Kim smoking at China’s Nanning train station just before dawn while talking with an aide. His sister could be seen offering him a crystal ashtray.
  • Kim arrived in Hanoi later Tuesday. The journey took about 70 hours.
  • Kim is a longtime smoker and has often been seen with a cigarette in hand on state TV, though he has started an anti-smoking campaign in North Korea.

Covert TV footage caught North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smoking a cigarette in rural China early on Tuesday while taking a break on his epic train journey to a summit with US President Donald Trump in Vietnam.

The North Korean leader arrived in Hanoi later Tuesday, after a nearly three-day, 2,000-mile train journey from Pyongyang to Dong Dang station.

Japan News Network broadcast footage of Kim pacing around the Nanning train station in southern China, lighting a cigarette with a match, and chatting with a political aide while smoking.

The Associated Press identified the aide as Hyon Song Wol. Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, could be seen in the video holding out a crystal ashtray for him.

Nanning chinaGoogle MapsNanning is close to China’s border with Vietnam.


Read more: Kim Jong Un’s elite bodyguards – famous for running next to his diplomatic Mercedes – were back for his entrance to Vietnam ahead of his second summit with Trump

It’s unclear why the North Korean leader chose to take a train to his second summit with Trump.

Kim sister Kim Yo JongTBS-JNNKim Yo Jong, the North Korean leader’s sister, holding a crystal ashtray out for him.

One analyst said it was likely to save face because Kim didn’t want to ask China to lend him a plane. Kim borrowed a Chinese plane for a summit with Trump in Singapore last year, attracting commentary on his reliance on Beijing.

The AP also described some experts as saying the journey through eastern China was meant to show North Korea’s close relationship with China.


Read more: Take a tour of the closest Chinese city to North Korea – the nearest thing to the outside world most North Koreans will ever see

Kim smoke cigaretteTBS-JNNKim Jong Un smokes at the Nanning station on Tuesday morning.

Kim is a heavy smoker and has often been seen on North Korean state TV with a cigarette in hand, “despite pushing an anti-smoking campaign in North Korea,” the AP said.

Kim reportedly abstained from nicotine while meeting South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April out of respect for the South Korean president.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.