N. Korean leader uses car gifted by Putin in public event: KCNA


SEOUL, March 16 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un used a Russian-made private car, gifted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a public event for the first time this week in “clear proof” of the two nations’ friendly ties, his sister said Saturday.

Last month, North Korea said Putin sent a Russian-made car for personal use to the North’s leader as a gift demonstrating special bonds between the two leaders. Russia said the car is the Aurus Senat limousine.

Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of the North’s leader, said the North’s leader used the car during an open event Friday, without elaborating, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“I am very pleased that the supreme leader of our Party and state uses the special private car sent by the head of state of Russia as a gift,” she said in a statement carried by the KCNA.

Kim said the special function of the private car is “perfect and can be thoroughly trusted,” noting that the gift is clear proof showing the North Korea-Russia friendship developing “in a comprehensive way on a new high stage.”

Russia’s sending of a luxury car to North Korea is a breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions that ban the supply, sale and transfer of luxury goods, including automobiles, to Pyongyang.

Putin showed his presidential Aurus Senat limousine to Kim in September last year, when the North’s leader visited Russia’s Vostochny spaceport for a summit, and offered him the opportunity to take a seat in the Russian-made luxury vehicle.

North Korea and Russia have deepened military cooperation amid suspicions that Pyongyang has provided munitions and artillery to Moscow for use in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

This file image, captured from footage of North Korea's state-run Korean Central Television on Sept. 20, 2023, shows the North's leader Kim Jong-un (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin taking a seat in Putin's presidential Aurus Senat limousine at Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East on Sept. 13. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

This file image, captured from footage of North Korea’s state-run Korean Central Television on Sept. 20, 2023, shows the North’s leader Kim Jong-un (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin taking a seat in Putin’s presidential Aurus Senat limousine at Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East on Sept. 13. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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