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Russia’s Putin gives North Korea’s Kim a luxury Russian-built limousine, says TASS

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has presented North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with a Russian-built Aurus limousine, a tea set and an admiral’s dirk, Russia’s state news agency TASS quoted a Kremlin aide as saying on Wednesday.

Putin, on a visit to Pyongyang, in turn, received various works of art depicting himself, including busts, presidential adviser Yuri Ushakov said.

Cheering crowds and lavish ceremonies greeted Putin in the North Korean capital on Wednesday, where Kim Jong Un expressed “full support” for Russia’s war in Ukraine and pledged stronger strategic ties with Moscow.

The Aurus Senat, retro-styled after the Soviet-era ZIL limousine, is the official Russian presidential car and Putin rode in one to his most recent Kremlin inauguration ceremony in May.

When Kim visited eastern Russia in September last year, Putin showed him one of the black armoured vehicles. Kim sat beside Putin in the car and appeared to enjoy it.

Putin gave Kim a first Aurus limousine in February this year, both countries said at the time, meaning he now has at least two of the vehicles.

Kim is believed to be an avid automobile enthusiast. He has a large collection of luxury foreign vehicles which have probably been smuggled in, as U.N. Security Council resolutions ban the export of luxury goods to North Korea.

He has been spotted in a Maybach limousine, several Mercedes, a Rolls-Royce Phantom and a Lexus sports utility vehicle.

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A senior Russian official said last month that Russia would start making Aurus luxury cars at a former Toyota factory in St. Petersburg this year.

According to Russian analytical agency Autostat, 40 Aurus-branded cars have been sold in Russia so far this year.

By The African Mirror