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