Regardless of the strong United Nations sanctions which have lengthy been slapped upon North Korea – banning gross sales of luxurious items and automobiles to the nuclear weapons-procuring and human rights-abusing authorities – chief Kim Jong seems to haven’t any downside curating an extravagant automobile assortment, and flagrantly flashing the violations for the world to see.

“Chairman Kim’s increasing stock of European and U.S.-manufactured or personalized luxurious and up-armored limousines represents the obvious sequence of flagrant sanctions violations thus far,” Hugh Griffiths, who for the previous 5 years has a coordinated a U.N. panel of consultants to observe North Korea’s sanction-circumventing maneuvers, instructed Fox Information. “It is because these automobiles are fairly actually paraded at international summits, diplomatic conferences and different high-profile occasions in Singapore, Pyongyang and elsewhere.”

A report launched final week by a U.N. panel famous that investigations are underway regarding North Korea’s acquisition of luxurious items, reminiscent of Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus automobiles. The panel discovered that the world’s largest container delivery line continued to “unwittingly transport prohibited objects.”


Griffiths stated the violations are hardly being stored secret.

“That is no clandestine exercise happening on the excessive seas, or at night time, as is usually the case with the unlawful ship-to-ship transfers of coal or petroleum,” he stated. “These automobiles are being paraded in entrance of the world’s media.”

As was highlighted within the U.N. panel’s studies, the North Korean regime is illicitly exporting prized possessions in clandestine vogue, utilizing nameless delivery containers diverted from their acknowledged locations.

“There’s a very actual threat that if North Korea is ready to divert such giant objects – though the Safety Council sanctions resolutions say that each one cargo getting into North Korea must be inspected – then North Korea can have few issues importing smaller however essential dual-use objects for its nuclear and ballistic missile packages,” Griffiths famous.

FILE PHOTO: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wave during a car parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 18, 2018. Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo - RC1E579359C0

FILE PHOTO: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean chief Kim Jong Un wave throughout a automobile parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 18, 2018. Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool through REUTERS/File Photograph – RC1E579359C0
(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool through REUTERS)

Final October, Kim raised eyebrows when he rolled up in a brand new black Rolls-Royce to fulfill with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo within the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. It was unclear how he’d managed to assemble such a swanky set of British-originated wheels.

The Rolls Phantom, price nearly $500,000, seems to have been produced between 2012 and 2017, based on the brand new U.N. report, at a British plant in Goodwood. The way it acquired to North Korea stays an open query.

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Beforehand, Kim had been seen cruising to high-profile conferences in a Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman Guard limousine, estimated to be price greater than $1.5 million with its armaments and assortment of modifications. Furthermore, numerous Lexus LX570 all-wheel-drive automobiles had been being sported by the North Korean delegation at an inter-Korean summit a month earlier in Pyongyang.

However there is likely to be a lot, way more to Pricey Chief’s illicit fleet.

“It isn’t publicly identified precisely what number of automobiles Kim Jong Un possesses, however it’s estimated that there are 100 to 300 automobiles inside particular garages in North Korea,” stated Dong Yong Kim, an skilled investigator in worldwide and safety affairs and retired South Korean Air Pressure Officer and weapons director on the Korean Air and House Operations Heart. “Some had been collected by his father and grandfather, all three have a unique style in automobiles.”

For one, grandfather Kim ll Sung was identified to like U.S.-made Lincoln and Cadillac, with at the very least one such vintage Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham noticed in use by a North Korean diplomat not too long ago. In 2010, the 12 months earlier than the demise of Kim’s father Kim Jong il, Dong Yong stated {that a} “particular container” was documented to have crossed from China into North Korea carrying greater than $three million price of Audis and a Mercedes.

U.N. panel questions N.K. leader's luxury cars. (Credit Image: © Yonhap News/Newscom via ZUMA Press)

U.N. panel questions N.Okay. chief’s luxurious automobiles. (Credit score Picture: © Yonhap Information/Newscom through ZUMA Press)
(Yonhap Information/Newscom through ZUMA Press)

“When Kim Jong ll was alive, he was identified to be a Mercedes maniac,” Dong Jong continued, whereas the younger reigning dictator has inherited that appreciation along with his personal “Western-obsessed” taste. “Kim lived his childhood obsessive about many Western cultures. He beloved basketball, is understood for consuming solely Perrier glowing water and consuming solely Emmental Swiss cheese.”


Derived from what Kim has brandished by means of varied summits and conferences in current instances, and primarily based on Dong Jong’s intensive evaluation, Kim at minimal owns a 2010~2011 Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Guard, Maybach 62 S, a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Lexus LX570, a Mercedes G wagon and a Mercedes Maybach S600 Guard.

But his automobile assortment is believed to be removed from the manufacturing facility ground. Recognized to be “safety phobic,” the strongman is alleged to at all times have 12 extremely elite bodyguards round him and all transportation automobiles are “bullet-proof, fire-proof, gad-proof and explosive proof.”

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“These automobiles are able to blocking most handguns and rifles with Full etal Jacket,” Dong Jong asserted. “And when it comes to efficiency, two important modifications are utilized. One is an Digital Laptop Unit (ECU) chip to squeeze in additional horsepower, the second is additional brake tuning.”

After which there one other vital annexation to the automobile assortment.

Kim can also be stated to have a bevy of tailor-made rest room automobiles that path him wherever he goes – by no means utilizing a public restroom – which serves a double goal of not enabling any sneaky outsiders to acquire well being data from any waste matter left behind. This additionally helps domesticate his public notion as one thing of a legendary almighty.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves from inside a car surrounded by bodyguards as he leaves the Dong Dang railway station in Dong Dang, Lang Son Province, last month. (Photo by Nhac NGUYEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read NHAC NGUYEN/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korean chief Kim Jong Un waves from inside a automobile surrounded by bodyguards as he leaves the Dong Dang railway station in Dong Dang, Lang Son Province, final month. (Photograph by Nhac NGUYEN / AFP) (Photograph credit score ought to learn NHAC NGUYEN/AFP/Getty Photos)
(NHAC NGUYEN/AFP/Getty Photos)

However whether or not Kim himself can really drive stays a topic of vigorous debate. As Dong Jong identified, textbooks issued to younger schoolchildren in North Korea are centered on the “heroic skill” of their nationwide chief, and even declare that Kim was in a position to drive a automobile on the age of three; by 9, the story goes, he was racing boats in opposition to foreigners.

However the rumor among the many defector neighborhood in Seoul is that Kim occasionally drives one among his VIP Benz automobiles late within the night time in Pyongyang, and at one time complained that fellow drivers “had been dumb,” a declaration that led to extra tickets being handed out by police.

<a href="" target="_blank">Dec. 28, 2011: In this image made from KRT television, a hearse is driven during a funeral procession of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in the snow in Pyongyang.</a>

<a href=”” goal=”_blank”>Dec. 28, 2011: On this picture made out of KRT tv, a hearse is pushed throughout a funeral procession of North Korean chief Kim Jong Il within the snow in Pyongyang.</a>

Dong Yong additionally pointed to the murky nature of purchases made by North Korea’s international diplomats. “There are numerous extra unknown and unreported instances,” he stated. “When you take a look at North Korea embassies abroad, these embassies all personal at the very least one Mercedes-Benz.”


For one, the North Korean Embassy in Malaysia is alleged to have procured at the very least 5 high-end automobiles: Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Jaguar XJ, Audi A6, Lexus LS, and BMW X5; the North Korean ambassador to Malaysia apparently owns two luxurious automobiles: Jaguar XJ and Lexus LS with the quantity plate 28-01-DC, Dong Jong reported.

“The quantity 28 means North Korea – nation designation – whereas 01 means the rank of embassy that means ambassador, and the final two alphabets DC stand for ‘Diplomatic Corps’ in Malaysia,” he surmised. “It’s uncommon to see one ambassador owns two luxurious automobiles nation like North Korea.

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He added, for emphasis, “North Korea’s GDP per capita is about $1,800 (USD) which is decrease than Syria.”

Given the hefty financial sanctions imposed on the Hermit Kingdom, Pyongyang’s auto trade is confined to only one mysterious producer, Pyeonghwa Motors, which is simply in a position to produce from a small pool of Asian makers. It’s unknown what number of automobiles are made there yearly. The tally is extensively assumed to be just a few thousand, if that, with Pyeonghwa Motors affected by rumors it went out enterprise some years in the past. Now, the corporate could serve extra as a nationalistic image.

Few within the impoverished nation are in a position to afford even a home automobile. Whereas the value tag for a North Korean automobile hovers round $10,000, the yearly earnings for many is lower than $1,300.

“North Korea at all times advertises its automobiles because the world’s finest, however Kim Jong Un and his cupboard would by no means experience in them,” Dong Jong noticed. “As a result of most individuals can’t afford to purchase a automobile there, most individuals journey by bicycle or simply stroll.”

The onus is now on U.N. Safety Council member states to find out what ought to occur to those high-end automobiles, and it’s as much as governments to place strain on international banks, merchants and insurers to go after the culprits, however Griffiths underscored that the panel’s work is way from over.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, on a recent train ride, a change of pace for a man used to commuting in luxury vehicles.  (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

North Korean chief Kim Jong Un, on a current prepare experience, a change of tempo for a person used to commuting in luxurious automobiles.  (Korean Central Information Company/Korea Information Service through AP)

“We’ll proceed to analyze how the most recent Maybach Mercedes and the Rolls-Royce acquired to North Korea, in addition to the businesses and people answerable for these transfers,” he stated. “Previous panel studies present that the identical networks exporting prohibited navy tools from North Korea to Africa had been additionally concerned within the import of a few of the Mercedes-Benz to North Korea.”

In line with Dong Jong, what has been uncovered thus far concerning the regime chief’s automobile assortment is merely the “tip of the iceberg,” and he anticipates that there’s at the very least one main international firm – but to be named – answerable for injecting unlawful opulence into the closed nation.

“Offering luxurious automobiles to Kim Jong Un is against the law, and those that assist such supply are additionally committing against the law,” he added.


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