RT heads to witness closure of N. Korean nuclear test site aboard secretive & very slow train

RT heads to witness closure of N. Korean nuclear test site aboard secretive & very slow train
RT’s Igor Zhdanov and a small team of international journalists are heading to North Korea’s only nuclear test site at Punggye-ri aboard a luxurious, yet secretive and slow train.

“We’re currently on the train, somewhere midway from Wonsan to the nuclear test site. We don’t even know the exact destination, as to where we going, we don’t know the name of the station,” Zhdanov reported from the moving train by phone.

The exact destination where the train is heading, however, is still a mystery, as the journalists are expected to take a four-hour bus ride and then hike for an hour after the train voyage. The most peculiar detail of the train is that all its window blinds are tightly shut and the passengers don’t have the slightest chance to see their surroundings.

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Lack of view from the windows, however, is compensated with the lavish class service. The journalists are accommodated in first class-looking two-passenger compartments, equipped with decent air conditioning.

“They are trying to make our stay here as comfortable as possible. There’s’ a lot of soda, regular drinking water. Also, we’ve just had some dinner. And the dinner was a ten-course banquet, and I’m not kidding,” RT’s correspondent said. “They are really pulling it all out to make sure that we’re comfortable, that we’re feeling well, that we eat well, that we sleep well. Probably to get us away from those shut windows.”

The train is going very slowly, probably since it should be heading north to the test site through rough mountainous terrain, and – probably – to not stir up the international journalists. Apart from that, the demolition of the test site at Punggye-ri is expected to be held on Thursday, so there’s no rush so far.

For more updates on the Korea trip, follow Igor Zhdanov on Twitter.

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