'Russia makes luxury cars?': US mocks Putin for his gift to North Korea's Kim

  • US has highlighted that gifting a car to the North Korean dictator violates the provisions of sanctions imposed on the country by UN Security Council.
Aurus Senat
Aurus Senat is a full-size luxury sedan that is also the presidential car of Vladimir Putin.
Aurus Senat
Aurus Senat is a full-size luxury sedan that is also the presidential car of Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently gifted a Russia-made luxury car to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. While the specific model was not initially revealed, it was later confirmed that the car was a Aurus Senat that is also the official presidential car in Russia. But is the gift legal? The United States has highlighted that the international sanctions prohibit transfer of vehicles to North Korea.

Speaking to members of the press, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller joked about whether Kim Jong Un also secured an extended warranty on the car gifted to him. “I hope Kim got the extended warranty," he said. “I’m not sure if I was buying a luxury car Russia would be the place I would look. I actually, frankly, didn’t know there was such a thing as a Russian luxury car."

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Miller then also highlighted how the gift was a violation of provisions of international sanctions put on North Korea. “UN Security Council resolutions do require all UN member states to prohibit both the supply of transportation vehicles and the supply of luxury automobiles to the DPRK. And if this is true, it would appear to be once again Russia violating UN Security Council resolutions that it itself supported."

Similar reservations were previously expressed by officials in South Korea. But Russian authorities have dismissed the charges. “If Seoul has questions about ‘compliance with UN sanctions’ against the DPRK, then instead of running to the microphones they should to contact the UN Security Council sanctions committee," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Telegram account, as per Russia's RT news outlet. "It would be interesting to know what kind of pressure Washington is exerting on Seoul to disrupt legitimate trade relations with other countries."

The UN Security Council prohibits the supply or export of certain items to North Korea as a punitive measure for its nuclear weapons program. This includes luxury vehicles.

Meanwhile, Putin's gift to Kim Jong Un has been highlighted by Russian authorities as a show of special ties between the two. Kim Jong Un is believed to have several luxury car models and the list includes Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman Guard and a Mercedes Maybach S62.

First Published Date: 22 Feb 2024, 10:37 AM IST
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