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Bypassing Sanctions? Kim Jong Un’s Motorcade Features New Toyotas

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According to a report by NK News, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was recently spotted with a new sports utility vehicle (SUV) from Toyota in his motorcade. This U.S. media outlet specializes in North Korean affairs on the 26th (local time).

On the 25th, in celebration of the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, Kim Jong Un visited the Kim Il Sung Military University, as reported by KCTV on the 26th. Kim was seen heading to the university in an Aurus Senat (in the center), escorted by a convoy of what appeared to be new Toyota Land Cruisers. / KCTV, Yonhap News

NK News reported that an analysis of the footage of Kim’s visit to the Kim Il Sung Military University, which aired on KCTV, revealed six Toyota Land Cruiser 300s among the 18-vehicle motorcade. The brand logos on these vehicles had been removed while beacon lights had been attached.

With this latest evidence, NK News demonstrated that North Korea is circumventing U.N. sanctions that have prohibited the transfer of vehicles to the country since 2017.

The Land Cruiser is part of the Toyota J300 series, which began production in 2021. Its price starts at $80,000.

NK News analyzed that these Toyota vehicles were likely used to transport security personnel when Kim visited the Kim Il Sung Military University to celebrate the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army.

The media outlet further reported two Maybach GLS 600 SUVs from Mercedes-Benz in Germany, two Lexus LX SUVs, two Transit vans from Ford of the U.S., and five old Mercedes sedans.

Previously, in February, Kim received a luxury vehicle called Aurus, dubbed the Russian Rolls-Royce, as a gift from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

NK News explained that the way these foreign cars were imported remains unclear. Still, Kim is deciphering his ability to import large items despite sanctions against North Korea. This phenomenon suggests he could take the same route with weapons and related production equipment.

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