Grainy photos of a military parade in North Korea showing two Mercedes limousines, thought to be S600 armored cars, sparked controversy recently in the international community.
According to The Telegraph, a coverage of the event by a North Korean-controlled media outlet showed not only one, but two Mercedes limos. Both cars bore similar headlights and grilles found in an S-Class.
Cedric Kacroix, an expert at Limousinesworld.com, believes that the cars in the spotlight are Mercedes S600 armored limousines or the so-called Mercedes Guard. Each car costs around £350,000 to £1.2 million. The prices would depend based on the type of armoring it has.
Due to the heavy armor of the extra luxurious S600 limos, each likely packs a V12 engine under its hood. Then, the power is probably racked up from its usual 530 bhp.
However, the problem with this scenario is that there is an ongoing ban in the sale of luxury goods in Kim Jong Un’s turf. This is the reason why the photos showing the Mercedes Guard in North Korea caused the U.S., U.N., and the European Union to blow steam.
A Mercedes spokesperson said they cannot say whether the units were from their brand since the pictures were grainy. However, if they were indeed under the three-pointed star marque, they could have been acquired by the North Korean government from channels outside their control.
It should be noted that there were other Mercedes limousines seen in North Korea during a parade in 2012. The cars in question looked like the standard Pullman limousines.