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April 14, 2010

SOUTH KOREA: North Korean officials to get Chinese cars

Around 100 Chinese-made cars were brought into North Korea from China on Tuesday, probably for North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to give to favored officials to celebrate the birthday of his father and state founder Kim Il Sung, which falls on Thursday, a Seoul daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Around 100 Chinese-made cars were brought into North Korea from China on Tuesday, probably for North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to give to favored officials to celebrate the birthday of his father and state founder Kim Il Sung, which falls on Thursday, a Seoul daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Chosun Ilbo said a North Korean source had seen around 30 identical vehicles crossing a bridge across the Yalu River from the Chinese city of Dandong into Sinuiju three times on Tuesday.

The vehicles were the compact BYD F3 sedan referred to as the ”people’s car” in China due to its popularity, the report said.

Starting last week, North Korea also brought in more than 200 cars, including luxury foreign cars, jeeps and large vans, believed to to be worth around US$5m, Kyodo News said.

”To my knowledge, the latest cars are gifts for mid-level officials at North Korea’s prosecution and state security agency and have been allocated to specific people in different regions,” the source was quoted as saying.

The reports noted that North Korea has offered foreign-made cars to ensure the loyalty of senior officials on the occasion of the birthdays of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

The source said the Chinese-made cars imported this week are believed to be gifts for the middle ranks.

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