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Putin takes North Korea's Kim for a drive around Pyongyang in Russian-made Kim

Putin takes North Korea's Kim for a drive around Pyongyang in Russian-made Kim

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un ride an Aurus car in Pyongyang, North Korea June 19, 2024. Photo: Reuters.

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The jaunt took place after the two leaders signed an agreement deepening their military cooperation to include a mutual defence pledge to help each other if attacked, with Kim calling the new ties an "alliance".

Reuters

Publisted at 6:19 PM, Wed Jun 19th, 2024

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday took North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a drive in a luxury Russian-built Aurus limousine during a pomp-filled visit to Pyongyang after presenting one of the luxury cars to Kim as a gift.

The jaunt took place after the two leaders signed an agreement deepening their military cooperation to include a mutual defence pledge to help each other if attacked, with Kim calling the new ties an "alliance".

Video released by Russian state TV showed Putin jumping behind the wheel of the black armoured limousine, which is his official presidential car back in Russia, with Kim getting in the passenger seat.

The car is then shown driving on a road which weaves its way through what looks like a park before coming to a halt. A Korean man in a suit wearing white gloves is seen opening the door for Kim before rushing round to hold Putin's door.

Putin and Kim are then shown walking side by side and chatting on a path in a wooded area with one man, presumably a bodyguard, walking behind them.

Kim is believed to be a keen automobile enthusiast and one of Putin's aides said earlier on Wednesday that the Russian leader had presented Kim with a Russian-built Aurus limousine as a gift.

Putin gave Kim a first Aurus limousine in February this year, both countries said at the time, meaning he now has at least two of the vehicles.

The Aurus Senat, retro-styled after the Soviet-era ZIL limousine, is the official Russian presidential car and Putin rode in one to his most recent Kremlin inauguration ceremony in May.

When Kim visited eastern Russia in September last year, Putin showed him one of the vehicles. Kim sat beside Putin in the car and appeared to enjoy it.

Kim has a large collection of luxury foreign vehicles which have probably been smuggled in, as U.N. Security Council resolutions ban the export of luxury goods to North Korea.

He has been spotted in a Maybach limousine, several Mercedes, a Rolls-Royce Phantom and a Lexus sports utility vehicle.

A senior Russian official said last month that Russia would start making Aurus luxury cars at a former Toyota factory in St. Petersburg this year.

According to Russian analytical agency Autostat, 40 Aurus-branded cars have been sold in Russia so far this year.

 

 

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