North Korea recently aired a military parade in which two Mercedes-Benz limousines were shown worth 2 billion won (US$1.9 million) each. It has led to disputes over the efficacy of the luxury goods embargo.
The Telegraph reported the news on August 5 (local time), raising the possibility of violation of the United Nations sanctions on the North. The military parade was aired on July 27 by Joseon Central TV, and the limos were used to carry large-sized flags on which Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il were drawn. July 27, 2014 was the 61st anniversary of the date when the ceasefire agreement was signed to end the Korean War.
“The models appear to be an S600 series with V12 engines that can endure the weight of bulletproof armor,” said a customized limousine expert, adding, “The price can be as high as 1.2 million pounds per vehicle.” In the meantime, Mercedes Benz said that it had never supplied such cars to North Korea.
At present, the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States prohibit the import of luxury cars, jewelry, yachts and the like to North Korea for its nuclear weapon tests and long-range missile launches. The U.K. newspaper reported that the limos may have been carried to the North via a Chinese or Russian agent, but China and Russia do not have any list disclosing the luxury goods delivered to the North.