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Putin gifts North Korea’s Kim a Russian-made car

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has received a Russian-made car from Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to state media in Pyongyang. The gift, reported by the official Korean Central News Agency, symbolizes the strengthening ties between the two countries across various sectors, including tourism and defense.

Kim’s sister, Yo Jong, emphasized that the car gift underscores the close personal relationship between the leaders of North Korea and Russia. The specific model of the vehicle was not mentioned in the report.

Following Kim’s visit to Russia last year, relations between Pyongyang and Moscow have been growing closer. This closeness was demonstrated by the recent arrival of a group of Russian tourists in North Korea, marking the first known foreign tour group to visit since border closures due to the pandemic in 2020.

Despite claims from the United States and South Korea alleging North Korea’s weapon shipments to Russia in exchange for assistance with satellite programs, both Kim and Putin have expressed intentions for further engagements, with Putin indicating a potential visit to Pyongyang.

Kim Jong Un is known for his fondness for luxury cars, having been seen using vehicles such as Lexus SUVs and Mercedes-Benz S-Class models. However, any luxury vehicle imports would violate UN sanctions imposed on North Korea due to its prohibited weapons programs.

During Kim’s visit to Russia, he was invited by Putin to sit in the back seat of his presidential Aurus Senat limousine, while Kim arrived at the location in his Maybach limousine, transported on a special train from North Korea.

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