Daimler says it has no idea how Kim Jong Un got his limos


TOKYO (AP) — German automaker Daimler, which makes armored limousines used by North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un, says it has no idea where he got them and has no business dealings with the North.
Kim has raised eyebrows by using Daimler-branded stretch limousines at several very high-profile summits,
including his meeting this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin and both of his earlier summits
with President Donald Trump.
The sale of luxury goods, including limousines, is banned under U. N. sanctions intended to put pressure
on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons.
Kim nevertheless had two limos waiting for him at Vladivostok station — a Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman
Guard and a Mercedes Maybach S62. He is believed to have also used the S600 Pullman Guard 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 delivered to North Korea," Daimler
spokeswoman Silke Mockert said in a written response to an Associated Press report Wednesday on the
limousines . "For Daimler, the correct export of products in conformance with the law is a
fundamental principle of responsible entrepreneurial activity."
Daimler, based in Stuttgart, Germany, is one of the world’s biggest and more prestigious automobile
companies. It is one of the biggest providers of high-end passenger cars and the world’s largest
producer of trucks above 6 tons.
On its home page, the multinational giant boasts of selling vehicles and services in nearly all the
countries of the world and of having production facilities in Europe, North and South America, Asia and
North Korea, however, isn’t one of its official customers.
"Our company has had no business connections with North Korea for far more than 15 years now and
strictly complies with E.U. and U.S. embargoes," she said. "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
Kim’s ability to procure the limousines anyway is a good example of how porous the international
sanctions tend to be.
According to Daimler, the Mercedes-Benz Pullman limousines offer their passengers "a superbly
appointed setting for discreet meetings."
The version used by Kim is believed to be equipped with all the key communications and entertainment
systems so that, according to a company description of the car, its occupants can remain "fully in
touch with the rest of the world while enjoying the luxury and comfort of their own very special place
in it."
Talmadge is the AP’s Pyongyang bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @EricTalmadge

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