Tomorrow (April 27), Kim Jong-un will cross the military demarcation line separating his country from South Korea—a first for a North Korean leader—for a historic summit with South Korean president Moon Jae-in. When he makes the crossing, he’ll bring with him his wife Ri Sol-ju, his sister Kim Yo-jong, several high-level North Korean officials, possibly edible symbolic gifts—and a toilet.
The Washington Post said the leader doesn’t use public toilets, citing Lee Yun-keol, who before defecting to South Korea worked at one time in a North Korean guard unit that protects the leader. Lee said there was a national security reason for Kim to use his own toilet in this case. “The leader’s excretions contain information about his health status so they can’t be left behind,” Lee told the Post.
A personal toilet accompanies the leader to all his various inspections of facilities and farms all through the year, and is apparently built into vehicles of various sizes so as to easily join in a convoy, according to a 2015 report in the South Korean online paper the Daily NK, which cited sources close to the Escort Command.
“In the North, the leader’s restroom needs are managed by the Escort Command, which oversees the personal safety of the leader and the Kim family,” a source told the news outlet. “If he doesn’t use the bathroom as he would in the morning or if he needs to go while traveling, it requires additional security protocol. ” The Daily NK also said that members of his entourage are barred from using the toilet, and could be severely punished for doing so.
Tomorrow’s summit is the third between Korean leaders, but the first to be hosted by South Korea. The leaders are slated to discuss denuclearization and how to officially end the Korean War. If all goes well, it could pave the way for a meeting between and Kim and US president Donald Trump later this year—to which, no doubt, the Korean leader will likely bring his own toilet as well.