Kim Jong Un's transportation is a fascinating topic we have reported on extensively in the past. When it comes to cars, it's not just what he rolls around in, but how he gets his hands on them while under deep embargoes and sanctions that is just as interesting. Now we have gotten a rare look at how his armored limousines are loaded onto his armored train. A giant ramp and a very skilled driver are the magic sauce that make it happen, based on what we are seeing in the video below.
As you can see, it is a very tight fit getting the Maybach limo wedged into the train car from a slanted grade. The ramp looks purpose-built just for this use.
An army of bodyguards and specialists, including wheel-men, that protect and transport regime officials - with Kim being the focus - are the top military people the country has to offer. It's a force unlike any other, and clearly, learning how to execute the toughest of parallel parking jobs with ease is part of the skill set.
Just imagine the stress related to this. You really, REALLY don't want to scratch the dictator of North Korea's smuggled-in custom Maybach!
The video was shot during Kim's ongoing tour of the Vladivostok region in Russia's far east as the two countries are cozying-up with major arms deals likely in the works. Russia needs to tap Kim's massive arsenal of tube artillery to support its war in Ukraine and North Korea needs... whatever it can get. This includes everything from hard currency to advanced weapons and technological transfer related to them. The direct meeting between Putin and Kim underlined just how high a priority this reinvigorated Russian-North Korean relationship has become.
Regardless, while the North Korean dictator primarily uses armored Pullman Guard limousines based on the Mercedes S-class, a limo built from a Maybach 62 is also in his fleet. The first time we can remember seeing it was during another visit to the same region back in 2019. Now it is playing a prominent role in this visit, too.
The Maybach 62 went out of production in 2013, with the brand name being absorbed back into its parent company — Mercedes Benz — and subsequent being used as an additional designation for top luxury models of the S-class. Kim's Maybach is clearly a modified variant of the basic 62 with armor and other enhancements. While the Pullman Guards were present during his recent movements in Russia, Kim appeared to use the Maybach as well.
Kim is a plane and car guy. His interest in limousines, in particular, have come up before during major moments in the international spotlight. In 2018, Trump gave Kim a tour of the "the Beast" — one of the Presidential Limousines operated by the Secret Service — during the meeting of the two in Singapore. On this trip to Russia, a similar moment occurred, with Putin having Kim experience his custom made in Russia "Aurus Senat" limousine.
While train travel may seem antiquated to many, it has a special significance and historical symbolism to the North Korean regime. Considering Kim rarely leaves North Korea and especially the region, it's seen as an ideal form of transportation for many missions. And the fact that you can pack everything up onboard, include his motorcade, is a major plus. Now we know how exactly they go about loading and unloading Kim's armored chariots.
Contact the editor: Tyler@thedrive.com