North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently paid Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he did it with much flair riding a Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard armored limousine. The problem with this scenario though is that the exportation of luxury goods to North Korea is banned by the United Nations. Therefore, Daimler denied having a hand in the dictator’s acquisition of one of their prized vehicles.
“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,” Daimler spokeswoman Silke Mockert wrote in a statement sent to Associated Press.
“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 responsibility,” she added.
With that, it is very likely that the vehicle in question was acquired through channels outside the control of Daimler.
The precursor of the S600 Pullman is the Mercedes-Benz W100 600. According to a GQ article, the limo has an “evil drivers’ rep” because it is the car of choice of many dictators such as Philippine’s Ferdinand Marcos, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Cuba’s Fidel Castro as well as Kim’s dad, Kim Jong-Il, and his grandpa, Kim Il-Sung. The fact that it is a favorite of the villains in two James Bond movies does not help reduce its infamy in any way too.
With the luxury and protection that the S600 Pullman Guard has, it does not come as a surprise why many heads of state prefer it. In 2014, variants of its predecessor were seen in a North Korean military parade honoring Kim Il-Sung. Now, we get to confirm that Kim Jong-Un certainly owns several units of the limo.