We’ve been worried about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un dropping the bomb. Turns out that, metaphorically, his security services worry about that too. In the run-up to this week’s historic meeting between the Great Leader and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, we learned from The Washington Post that the protection of Kim extends right down to his excrement.
Kim doesn’t do air travel. His recent trip to Beijing was his first foray out of the country since he assumed power, and he traveled there by private train. But in the annals of strange stories about the Kim regime, this is one of the strangest: Wherever Kim travels by car throughout the Hermit Kingdom, such as the trip to Panmunjom this week, a special car follows — containing toilet facilities.
(As for what he drives, the Kim regime has been partial to Mercedes, though Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, rode to his reward, or whatever it is he deserved, in a Lincoln. We have no insight as to whether the toilet car is a Mercedes, though that’s all we see in the photo above.)
“Rather than using a public restroom, the leader of North Korea has a personal toilet that follows him around when he travels,” defector Lee Yun-keol told The Post. Lee worked in the North Korean Guard Command before defecting to South Korea in 2005, where he runs a think tank, the North Korea Strategic Information Service Center.
The West first became privy to the potty car when word of it leaked from defectors and from sources within North Korea, in a Seoul publication called the Daily NK. It’s not just that this man of the proletariat won’t stop at a villager’s house. It’s a matter of security — his security, by way of his excrement.
According to the Daily NK, a vehicle in his convoy is a rolling restroom that only he may use. Obviously, because he’s a dictator. But also because samples are regularly collected to monitor his health. And the flip side of that: It prevents foreign spies from collecting samples for that same kind of intelligence.
“The leader’s excretions contain information about his health status, so they can’t be left behind,” Lee said.
The Daily NK report came out in 2015. The next year, Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, joked that those suggesting a pre-emptive strike on a nuclear North Korea should target Kim’s all-important automotive outhouse.
“We know intelligence agencies around the world are monitoring the health of foreign leaders,” he wrote in Foreign Policy magazine. “But we should have realistic expectations for what we might learn