While the world was frantically speculating over various clues that a high-level North Korean delegation had sneaked in to Beijing unannounced, a smiling Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping toasted each other knowingly with glasses of white and red wine at a grand banquet.

Taking a leaf out of his father’s cloak-and-dagger playbook for his debut diplomatic foray, Mr Kim had glided across the Chinese border on a 21-carriage armoured train with blacked out windows.

The train’s arrival – a grand mode of transport first inaugurated by his late fater Kim Jong-il, who chose to slide stealthily into Beijing in 2011 out of a fear of flying – first piqued the interest of the Japanese media on…

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