NewsKim Jong Un's inaugural ride in Putin's gift limousine symbolizes deepening Russia-North Korea ties

Kim Jong Un's inaugural ride in Putin's gift limousine symbolizes deepening Russia-North Korea ties

Kim Jong Un took his first ride in a "tank on wheels".
Kim Jong Un took his first ride in a "tank on wheels".
8:02 AM EDT, March 17, 2024

Last year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un received a luxurious, armored Aurus Senat limousine from Russian President Vladimir Putin. This week marked Kim Jong Un's inaugural journey in the vehicle. On this occasion, Kim Jong Un's sister released a special statement.

For the first time, Kim Jong Un embarked on an official journey in the opulent, armored Aurus Senat limousine—a gift from Russian President Vladimir Putin. KCNA, the government agency, commenting on the event, described it as a significant symbol of the friendship between Russia and North Korea.

Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader and a senior official in the Workers' Party of Korea, issued a statement. She highlighted that “the official use of the limousine by Comrade Kim Jong Un, a gift from the President of the Russian Federation, visibly confirms the deepening and evolving friendship between the DPRK and Russia."

"Tank on Wheels"

In a demonstration of friendship, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented Kim Jong Un with a state-of-the-art, Russian-made Aurus Senat limousine. This gift was transferred to Kim in the fall of 2023 during a North Korean delegation's visit to Russia's Far East, including a stop at the Vostochny cosmodrome. The vehicle was then sent to Pyongyang in February of the following year.

According to Russian media, the ceremonial armored Aurus Senat, dubbed a "tank on wheels," boasts a hybrid propulsion system. It's powered by a 4.4-liter (approximately 268 cubic inches) V8 gasoline engine.

Known for his love of cars, Kim owns a collection of luxury foreign vehicles, which were presumably smuggled into North Korea. In September, Putin showcased his limousine to Kim and even invited him to sit in the backseat, reports Reuters.

During his visit to Russia, Kim was seen traveling in his Maybach, which had been transported from Pyongyang by special train. Alongside the Maybach, Kim has been spotted in several other luxury vehicles, including Mercedes, Rolls-Royce, and Lexus models—each of which, according to United Nations Security Council resolutions, should not be available for sale to North Korea.

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