17 Jul 2019
The Mercedes-Benz limousines seen chauffeuring around North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this year have stumped outsiders over how the sanctions-hit regime obtained the luxury rides.
But researchers now believe they have unearthed the Kim regime’s smuggling secret: It takes three cargo jets, about four months and five countries.
A 2018 delivery to Pyongyang of two Mercedes vehicles, believed to be bulletproof, head-of-state cars costing more than $500,000 each, started in the Netherlands and took a journey lasting from June to October, according to a report by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, a Washington-based research organization that works to expose illicit finance around the globe.
From Europe, the two heavily armored cars took a 41-day sea journey to China, before ping-ponging across Japan, South Korea and finally Russia, from where a trio of North Korean state-owned jets apparently ushered them to Pyongyang, according to the researchers, who tracked the shipments by analyzing public port data and trade records.
By Timothy W. Martin, The Wall Street Journal, 17 July 2019
Read more at The Wall Street Journal
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