Skip to content

Russian president gifts vehicle to N. Korean leader

Russian president gifts vehicle to N. Korean leader
By Ahmet Erarslan
Feb 20, 2024 11:42 AM

Russia’s President Putin’s gift of a Russian vehicle to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un raises concerns over potential violations of the U.N. resolution banning luxury items to North Korea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with a Russian-manufactured vehicle for his personal use as a gesture of their close bond, as per North Korea’s state media on Tuesday.  

The specifics of the car and its transportation were not disclosed in the report. However, some analysts suggest that this act may breach a U.N. resolution prohibiting the provision of luxury items to North Korea in an effort to compel the country to relinquish its nuclear arsenal. 

Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, along with another North Korean official, accepted the gift on Sunday and conveyed her brother’s gratitude to Putin, according to the Korean Central News Agency. Kim Yo Jong remarked that the gift symbolized the special personal connection between the two leaders. 

Since Kim’s visit to Russia last September for a summit with Putin, North Korea and Russia have significantly enhanced their collaboration. During the visit, Putin showcased his personal Anrus Senat limousine to Kim at Russia’s primary spaceport, with Kim even sitting in the backseat. 

Aurus, the first Russian luxury car brand, has been utilized in the motorcades of top officials, including Putin, since its introduction. Kim, who is 40 years old, is known to own numerous foreign luxury cars that are thought to have been illicitly brought into North Korea, contravening U.N. sanctions. 

During his previous trips to Russia, Kim was chauffeured in a Maybach limousine, which he brought along in one of his customized train carriages. On a separate visit in 2019, he had two limousines waiting for him at Vladivostok station – a Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman Guard and a Mercedes Maybach S62. 

Kim’s possession of these high-end foreign vehicles highlights the ineffectiveness of international sanctions against North Korea. Despite being able to veto the resolution, Russia, as a permanent Security Council member, voted in favor of the ban on luxury goods to North Korea. 

The deepening relationship between North Korea and Russia coincides with their respective disputes with the U.S. and its allies – North Korea over its nuclear program and Russia due to its prolonged conflict with Ukraine. The U.S., South Korea, and their allies have accused North Korea of supplying conventional weapons to Russia for its Ukrainian conflict in exchange for advanced Russian military technologies and other forms of support. 

Following the return of its foreign minister from a visit to Russia in January, North Korea’s state media reported that Putin expressed his readiness to visit North Korea in the near future. 

Source: AP

Last Updated:  Jun 21, 2024 5:57 PM