North Korea’s Kim gifted car by Russia’s Putin, state media says

The Russian-made car was delivered to Kim for his ‘personal use’, North Korea’s state-run KCNA says.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un met Russian President Vladimir Putin on a visit to Russia last year [FMikhail Metzel/ Sputnik via AP]

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been gifted a car by Russian President Vladimir Putin in recognition of their “special personal relations”, state media has reported.

The Russian-made car, the make and model of which was not disclosed, was delivered to Kim’s top aides, including his sister Kim Yo Jong, on February 18 for the North Korean leader’s “personal use”, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Monday.

“Kim Yo Jong 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 of the DPRK and Russia and as the best one,” KCNA said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Putin’s gift appears to violate Moscow-backed United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang, which prohibit the supply of all “transportation vehicles” to North Korea.

Kim is believed to own an extensive collection of high-end cars and has been spotted travelling in luxury models including the Mercedes-Maybach S600, Rolls-Royce Phantom and Lexus LX 570.

During his visit to Russia’s far east in September, Kim admired Putin’s presidential Aurus Senat limousine and was invited by the Russian leader to sit in the back seat.

Putin and Kim, both of whom are increasingly isolated on the international stage, have forged closer ties since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

In October, Kim wished Putin victory over the “imperialists’ anti-Russia scheme” in a letter marking the 75th anniversary of their countries’ bilateral relations, state media reported.

The United States and its ally South Korea have expressed concern about growing military cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang.

South Korea’s spy agency said in November that Russia likely assisted North Korea’s successful launch of a spy satellite, which Seoul, Tokyo and Washington condemned as a pretext to test ballistic missile technology.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies