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June 24, 2017

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Kim Jong Un apparently doesn't fear flight like dad

SEOUL---A new photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un disembarking from a plane suggests he doesn't share his father Kim Jong Il's near-obsessive fear of flying.

The ruling party's official daily, Rodong Sinmun, ran a large color picture Wednesday of Kim stepping down the red-carpeted stairs from a civilian aircraft at Samjiyon, near the Chinese border.

It is believed to be the first picture of Kim travelling by air, something his father, whom he succeeded as leader in December 2011, resolutely refused to do.

Over the course of seven trips to China, including his last visit in 2010, as well as a month-long trip to Russia in 2001, Kim Jong Il always stuck to his preferred mode of long-distance travel — a customized, armored train carriage.

His choice was not just down to a reportedly deep-rooted dread of flying, but also a fear of assassination.

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