Daimler, the maker of armored limousines used by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, states it has no idea where the leader got them and has no business dealings with the country.
Kim Jong Un has attracted attention by using Daimler-branded stretch limousines at several very high-profile summits, such as his meeting this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin and both of his previous summits with US President Donald Trump.
The sale of luxury goods, including limousines, is prohibited under U. N. sanctions intended to put pressure on North Korea to desert its nuclear weapons.
Kim nonetheless had two limos waiting for him at Vladivostok station — a Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman Guard and a Mercedes Maybach S62. He is thought to have used the S600 Pullman Guard as well for his summits with Trump in Singapore in June last year and in Hanoi in February.
“We have absolutely no idea how those vehicles were manufactured to North Korea,” Daimler spokeswoman Silke Mockert stated in a written response to an Associated Press report on the limousines. “For Daimler, the correct export of products in conformance with the law is a fundamental principle of responsible entrepreneurial activity.”
“Our company has had no business relations with North Korea for over 15 years now and strictly complies with E.U. and U.S. embargoes,” she stated. “To prevent deliveries to North Korea and to any of its embassies worldwide, Daimler has implemented a comprehensive export control process. Sales of vehicles by third parties, especially of used vehicles, are beyond our control and responsibility.”
Kim’s ability to obtain the limousines anyway is a good example of how porous the sanctions tend to be.