North Korea is under international sanctions but this did not prevent its leader, Kim Jong-Un, to arrive in a meeting with the U.S. secretary of state in a $400K luxury car.
According to The Telegraph, the North Korean dictator arrived for a working lunch with U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo in a new Rolls Royce on Sunday.
The jet-black Phantom Rolls-Royce has darkened windows and features the distinctive logo of the car’s brand on the wheel hubs.
It isn’t clear how the car would have been transported to Pyongyang since this is a violation of the United Nations’ sanctions against North Korea.
The sanctions prohibit the sale of luxury goods, which include luxury automobiles and motor vehicles, to the North Korean government.
North Korea is sanctioned under multiple UN Security Council resolutions because of its nuclear weapons program.
The black Rolls Royce Phantom limousine, which was likely delivered from China, costs at least $400,000.
According to CNN, Kim arriving at the meeting in the luxury car is an insult to Pompeo given that the vehicle would not have been acquired without any violation to the UN sanctions.
The United States has also insisted that the international community strictly enforce the UN sanctions until Pyongyang denuclearizes.
China, along with Russia, wanted to relax the international sanctions, but the United States is headstrong on its views that the sanctions would only be removed once North Korea has decided to irreversibly denuclearize.
Robert Dujarric, professor of international relations at the Japan campus of Temple University, commented that the sanctions regime has become a joke.
Dujarric nonetheless acknowledged that evading the UN sanctions is fairly simple especially that the main ally of North Korea is neighboring China.
Dujarric said that a North Korean operative could easily purchase the luxury car from Rolls-Royce in London and then ship this to China, where it could then be trucked over the land border. He said that the vehicle is not a military-grade technology, and thus would not have raised eyebrows.
“The Chinese authorities are not going to make a fuss over a car, even if they know it is going to Mr. Kim himself,” Dujarric said.
According to UPI, the meeting did not appear to have made much progress in making North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons. Kim also said that he will not submit a report of nuclear weapons to the United States.