12:28 GMT +324 September 2018
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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves during a military parade on Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un.

    Pleased to Meet You Halfway: Kim Jong Un May Not Have a Plane That Can Reach US

    © AP Photo / Wong Maye-E
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    With many anxiously awaiting the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, analysts are beginning to question whether Kim has a plane capable of flying long distances, should the meet and greet be held far away from the Korean Peninsula.

    An April 27 summit between South Korean President Moon Jae In and Kim is expected to be held at the truce village of Panmunjom on the border between the two countries. But analysts speculate that Trump may prefer to hold his meeting with Kim in Switzerland, Iceland or even Sweden, according to the Business Insider.

    "We used to make fun of what they have — it's old stuff," Sue Mi Terry, who served as a senior CIA analyst on Korean issues during the George W Bush administration, told The Washington Post. "We would joke about their old Soviet planes."

    Joseph Bermudez, an analyst with 38 North, went even further, suggesting North Korea doesn't "have an aircraft that can fly across the Pacific."

    If Pyongyang's plane ends up having to stop somewhere for refueling purposes, it will reveal the country's aviation as behind the times, The Independent reported. Worse, the publication also suggested that finding a spot to load up on gas would itself be troublesome, as many countries have sanctioned North Korea.

    But there's always the option of getting a lift, another pointed out… though it may come at a cost.

    "In terms of his traveling anywhere, it would not be a problem — the South Koreans or the Swedes would give him a ride," Victor Cha, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the Post, before stating that "it would be embarrassing."

    Though many were quick to criticize North Korea's aircraft, others stated that Kim would have no issues traveling abroad since Air Koryo, the country's state-owned airlines, houses two Tupolev Tu-204 jets, which are similar to the Boeing 757.

    As they typically do, netizens also chimed in with their own opinions.

    ​The exact date and location of the Trump-Kim meeting has yet to be agreed upon. It has been reported that a meeting could take place in late April or early May.

    Kim's visit to Beijing in March marked his first known journey outside of North Korea since he took office in 2011.

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    Tags:
    meeting, summit, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, United States, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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