How to avoid a poisoned pen? Kim Jong-un’s security wiped down Sharpie the U.S. provided for signing ceremony – and then dictator’s sister swapped in a different one at the last second
- There was a moment of intrigue before President Trump and Kim Jong-un inked a ‘joint statement’ at their summit meeting
- A North Korean official approached the desk where the statement was placed
- He wore white gloves and proceeded to wipe down the pen awaiting Kim
- Then Kim’s sister Kim Yo-jong took out a pen from her own pocket
- That is the deal that Kim used to sign the agreement
- Kim also reportedly traveled with his own toilet
- Speculation he doesn’t want DNA evidence collected or his health monitored
- ‘They have a well-founded fear of somebody learning something about his health’
North Korea’s government put on a display of what could be germaphobia, paranoia – or a grounded fear of snooping – as an aide carefully swabbed a pen before dictator Kim Jong-un signed a joint statement in Singapore.
In the moments before Kim sat down with President Donald Trump to ink a joint statement after the first meeting between leaders of the two countries, a male security aide wearing white gloves grabbed the black pen laid out for Kim’s use.
As the world watched at around 2 am New York time, a member of Kim’s security team swabbed the instrument repeatedly with a white cloth of some kind.
Then, when Kim and Trump entered the room, Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, reached in front of her brother and provided him with a different pen that she took from a pocket in her jacket.
HAVE YOU GOT A PEN? North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un inked a joint statement with a pen provided by his sister rather than the one provided
It was with that pen that Kim signed the agreement proclaiming North Korea’s ‘commitment ‘to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.’
It was just the latest peculiar behavior from the leader of the hermetic regime.
‘They have a well-founded fear of somebody learning something about his health,’ said John Pike of GlobalSecurity.org.
‘The fact that they are so insanely meticulous puts Howard Hughes to shame,’ Pike told DailyMail.com, noting that Kim’s weight has gone up and down, and he has been spotted using a cane.
‘The Don claims to have germaphobia but I haven’t seen him doing any weird stuff like this,’ he noted in reference to Trump, who used to steer away from shaking hands when possible.
The North Koreans could have multiple concerns in such a situation. One is allowing western intelligence services the chance to gain new insights about the health of the absolute ruler of North Korea.
CLEAN HANDS: A North Korean security aide cleans a pen before Kim Jong-un signed a joint statement. Kim ended up using another pen anyway
BE SHARP: A North Korean aide places the pen for North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un after cleaning it before a signing ceremony with U.S. President Donald Trump
‘He trusts me, I believe, I really do,’ Trump said of Kim Jong-un
SIGN OF THE TIMES: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2-R) and North Korean leader’s sister Kim Yo Jong (2-L) look on as US President Donald J. Trump (2-R) and North Korean Chairmain Kim Jong-un (2-L) sign a document during their historic DPRK-US summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island, Singapore, 12 June 2018
The pen assigned for use by North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, but was left unused after a different pen was provided for Kim, is seen following a signing ceremony with US President Donald Trump during their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018
‘They are extremely careful about making sure that nobody gets any biological samples of him,’ said Pike. ‘If anybody knew for sure what was wrong with him it wouldn’t look good … His legitimacy would be called into question.’
Kim even reportedly travels with a portable toilet to prevent foreigners from getting hold of a stool sample that might reveal information about him.
Having reportedly murdered his uncle and banished political rivals to work camps, Kim also must take care to avoid threats to his own security.
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At 30, Kim’s sister is a trusted advisor, and traveled to North Korea to represent the regime at the Olympics.
Kim’s care for his own personal security is also revealed in the retinue of armed body guards who travel with him. The formed a phalanx around him in Singapore and have been pictured surrounding his armored Mercedes limousine.
The pen-wiping spectacle came despite Trump’s assertion of mutual trust with his counterpart.
Kim Jong-un’s health is a closely guarded secret in a closed Stalinist system based on one-party rule
‘He trusts me, I believe, I really do,’ Trump told ABC News in reference to Kim. ‘I think he trusts me, and I trust him,’ Trump said.
There have been rumors that Kim could suffer from obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, or high blood pressure, according to a GlobalSecurity analysis.
Trump made a light-hearted weight joke in advance of a working lunch with Kim.
‘Get a good picture everybody so we look nice and handsome and thin. Perfect,’ Trump told photographers and a Singapore government TV crew at the start of the lunch.
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