Kim-Trump Summit Poses Logistical Challenge

  • By Yu Yong-weon

    May 14, 2018 12:23

    North Korea is faced with a logistical challenge trying to fly leader Kim Jong-un to Singapore for his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on an outdated plane that has so far barely chuffed to Beijing.

    The North will also probably want to transport a Mercedes-Benz sedan for Kim as well as secure communications equipment.

    Singapore is about 4,828 km from Pyongyang. 

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's jet /Newsis

    One solution would be to rent an airplane from China for safety's sake, but Kim would naturally prefer his own jet, an ancient Ilyushin IL-62M from the former Soviet Union that was bought by Air Koryo in 1982.

    Only a year later a plane of the same type crashed in Guinea.

    With four engines, the IL-62M in theory has a range of 10,000 km, but Greg Waldron of aviation magazine Flightglobal said Kim's jet has never flown such a long distance before, so caution will be needed.

    It could also stop over in China or Vietnam for refueling or an emergency landing.

    Kim's Mercedes-Maybach S6000 Pullman Guard could be flown to Singapore aboard an IL-76 cargo aircraft which also took it to Dalian when he visited earlier this month.

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