April 20, 2024

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Kim Jong Un Drives Putin’s Luxury Car Amid Deepening Ties

Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, recently utilised a Russian luxury limousine gifted by President Vladimir Putin, as affirmed by Kim’s sister, praising both the vehicle’s “special function” and the strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Putin had sent Kim the prestigious Aurus Senat limousine in February, a vehicle he had showcased during their summit in Russia in September. Despite observations indicating that the shipment contravened a United Nations resolution aimed at compelling North Korea to relinquish its nuclear weapons programme by prohibiting the supply of luxury goods, Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, emphasised the significance of her brother’s use of the vehicle.

In a statement conveyed by state media on Saturday, Kim Yo Jong highlighted the impeccable performance of the private car and underscored its symbolic value in affirming the burgeoning friendship between North Korea and Russia. She depicted Kim Jong Un’s utilisation of the limousine as tangible evidence of the elevated stage of their comprehensive bilateral ties.

Aurus, the first Russian luxury car brand, has been prominently featured in the motorcades of top officials since Putin’s inauguration ceremony in 2018. Kim, known for his collection of foreign-made luxury cars allegedly smuggled into North Korea, previously travelled in a Maybach limousine during his visit to Russia, alongside other reported vehicles such as a Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard and a Maybach S62.

Against the backdrop of escalating tensions with the West, both North Korea and Russia have intensified military and other forms of cooperation over the past year. North Korea has faced scrutiny for purportedly supplying conventional weapons to Russia in support of its conflict with Ukraine, seeking technological advancements and other forms of assistance in return.

Russia, in collaboration with China, has consistently thwarted efforts by the U.S. and its allies to impose fresh U.N. sanctions on North Korea, particularly in response to its prohibited ballistic missile tests. These geopolitical dynamics underscore the complex interplay between North Korea, Russia, and the broader international community.