Rail train of Kim Jong-il has stayed at station
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s special train has remained idle over three months, according to analysts who observe the reclusive communist nation through satellite photos, fueling speculation that Kim is still too ill to make long-distance trips.
Pyongyang’s has made several apparent attempts to dismiss concerns by releasing Kim’s photos through state media to prove his good health.
“Kim’s train never left Yongsong train station near Pyongyang since reports about the ailing leader spread outside world in late September,” a South Korean source said, hinting that Kim may have never left the North’s capital city.
The North Korean media have released six photos of Kim since Oct. 11, including his inspection of military bases. Kim was reported to have made a site survey to Shinuiju on Nov. 26, a city far away from Pyongyang. No intelligence, however, was detected about Kim’s long distance travel, sources said.
The North’s state media also reported about Kim’s alleged inspection of an Air Force base, believed to be located in Hwanghae Province, on Dec. 1, but again, there was no sign of Kim’s long trip, sources said. Kim prefers to travel by train instead of cars or airplanes. When he made a visit to China in 2004, he used his special train. Lee Keum-ryong, an former ranking North Korean military official and now director of Free North Korea Radio in Seoul, said Kim’s personal train normally stays in Yongsong when Kim is in town.
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