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Video: Kim Jong Un cigarette break on long train ride to Trump summit



Covert TV coverage caught Kim Jong Un smoking an early-morning cigarette in rural China while taking a break from his epic train journey to a summit with Donald Trump in Vietnam.

The North Korean leader arrived there on Tuesday, ending a 2,000-mile, 2.5-day, train odyssey from Pyongyang to Dong Dang station.

Early on Tuesday morning, Japanese TV station TBS-JNN broadcast footage of Kim pacing around Nanning train station in southern China, lighting a cigarette with a match, and chatting to a political aide while smoking.

The Associated Press identified the aide as Hyon Song Wol. Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong is then seen on video holding out a crystal ashtray for him.

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

The reason Kim chose take a train to his second summit with Trump is unclear.

The North Korean leader’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, hold 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 the 2018 summit with Trump in Singapore, which attracted commentary on his reliance on Beijing.

Another explanation was that the journey through China’s eastern regions is meant to signify 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 smokes at Nanning train station on Tuesday morning.

Kim is a heavy smoker, and is often seen on state TV with a cigarette in hand, despite pushing an anti-smoking campaign in North Korea, the Associated Press reported.

Kim reportedly abstained from nicotine while meeting South Korean leader Moon Jae-in April 2017 out of respect for the South Korean president.

Kim meets South Korean President Moon Sae-in in April 2017 at the border.
orea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters

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