Latest News 21-02-2024 07:34 5 Views

Putin gifts North Korea’s Kim Jong Un with Russian made limo

From Russia with love.

Vladimir Putin has gifted North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un a luxury Russian Aurus limousine in a show of the countries deepening ties, although observers said it could violate a U.N. resolution that bans supplying luxury items to North Korea in an attempt to pressure the country to abandon its nuclear weapons.

The Russian-made limousine was delivered to Kim's top aides by the Russian side on Feb. 18, North Korea's official KCNA news agency said.

The limousine is similar to one of the black armored limousines Putin uses and the decision to gift the Aurus to Kim came after the North Korean leader liked the car when the Russian president showed it to him last year, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. The pair met in September at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a Russian spaceport above the 51st parallel north in the Amur Oblast, in the Russian Far East.

Putin showed Kim one of the limousines and Kim sat beside him in the car and appeared to enjoy it, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

'When the head of the DPRK (North Korea) was at the Vostochny cosmodrome, he looked at this car, Putin showed it to him personally, and like many people, Kim liked this car,' Peskov said when asked about the gift.

'So this decision was made,' Peskov said. 'North Korea is our neighbor, our close neighbor, and we intend, and will continue, to develop our relations with all neighbors, including North Korea.'

Kim's sister 'courteously conveyed Kim Jong Un's thanks to Putin to the Russian side, saying that the gift serves as a clear demonstration of the special personal relations between the top leaders,' North Korea's official KCNA news agency said.

Kim, 40, is known to possess many foreign-made luxury cars believed to have been smuggled into his country in breach of the U.N. resolution. Kim arrived at the September summit in a Maybach limousine brought onboard a special train he traveled on from Pyongyang, while he is also understood to possess several Mercedes limousines, a Rolls-Royce Phantom and a Lexus sports utility.

Kim reportedly used a Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman Guard for his two summits with then-President Donald Trump in Singapore in 2018 and Vietnam in 2019, according to The AP. 

South Korea's foreign ministry said it was closely monitoring the cooperation between Russia and North Korea while urging both countries to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions.

'Security Council sanctions on North Korea prohibit directly or indirectly supplying, selling or moving all transportation vehicles internationally categorized as HS Code 86 through to 89 regardless of their origin to North Korea including luxury cars,' ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk told a media briefing, according to Reuters. 

North Korea and Russia have boosted their cooperation significantly since the September summit and since the onset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago.

The U.S., South Korea and their partners accuse North Korea of sending conventional arms to Russia for its war in Ukraine, in return for high-tech Russian weapons technologies and other support.

North Korea has also been advancing its nuclear program, while Kim last week vowed to fire upon any South Korean vessel that violates its waters.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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