Original article appeared in the Daily Mail.
Kim Jong-un’s opulent palace has been revealed in a series of remarkable photographs which give a tantalising glimpse into the life of the reclusive North Korean leader.
The pictures, taken at an unknown location near the North Korean capital Pyongyang, show his modern residence – complete with pristine gardens and a minimalist interior.
Valery Sharifulin, a Russian journalist, was given unique access to Kim’s mansion while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Pyongyang.
Lavrov met with Kim while a former North Korean spy chief travelled to New York and met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in an attempt to salvage a summit between President Trump and Kim.
Kim Jong-un’s house: A Russian photojournalist was given access to one of the North Korean dictator’s lavish homes at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang. According to the tyrant’s former bodyguard Lee Young-kuk, the North Korean leader keeps at least eight separate palaces outside the capital. Although Kim has several palaces, pictures of them are hard to come by because the North Korean government has put in place tight security measures to make sure very few photographs exist.
he two leaders are expected to sit down to negotiate the terms of North Korea’s withdrawal from an effort to build a nuclear weapon that could reach the United States.
The Russian photojournalist has also released pictures, taken at locations around Pyongyang, revealing unseen elements of day-to-day life inside the hermit kingdom.
Although Kim has several palaces, pictures of them are hard to come by as the North Korean government has put in place tight security measures to make sure very few photographs exist.
According to the tyrant’s former bodyguard Lee Young-kuk, the North Korean leader keeps at least eight separate palaces outside the capital.
During his visit, Lavrov called for sanctions on North Korea to be lifted and invited Kim Jong-un for a meeting in Moscow as he met with the dictator in Pyongyang on Thursday.
Sergei Lavrov was welcomed with open arms by Kim as he flew into the hermit kingdom in an apparent bid to curry favour ahead of a potential summit between North Korea and the US.
‘It is absolutely obvious that, as we start discussions on how to resolve the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula, it is understood that the solution cannot be comprehensive without the lifting of sanctions,’ Lavrov said in a press conference.
He also urged the state to hold off on relinquishing their nuclear weapons until tangible action had been taken to lift the economic stranglehold.
‘This cannot be achieved at one go’, he added. ‘There can be no immediate denuclearisation, this should be done step by step and all sides should go half-way during every single phase of this process’.
The meeting was the first ever between the North Korean leader and a Russian official – and Lavrov used the opportunity to invite Kim for a return fixture in Moscow.
‘Come to Russia, we’ll be very happy to see you,’ Lavrov told Kim in remarks released by the Russian foreign ministry.
Last month, North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho held rare talks with Lavrov in Moscow as Pyongyang moves to improve strained ties with global powers.
Lavrov passed greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Kim, saying he wished him success in the ‘major undertakings that have been initiated on the Korean peninsula’, the ministry said in a statement.