Kim Jong-Un, the “Supreme Leader” of North Korea, had been seen rolling off in custom-built Pullman Guard Mercedes limousines when attending special events and exclusive occasions. But just recently, Kim pulled off quite a surprise after he was seen disembarking from a new Rolls-Royce Phantom.
It turned out that Kim has been an aficionado for cars and planes ever since he was a child. This was made demonstrated well when the North Korean leader went to a meeting with United States president Donald Trump in Singapore in June this year. At the time, Kim took a peek at Trump’s Cadillac One presidential limousine dubbed as “The Beast.” This highly customized Cadillac is a nine-ton bulletproof and bombproof that features an emergency oxygen supply, steel wheels and an armor-plated fuel tank. A new version of The Beast has just been unveiled by Cadillac.
On other hand, Kim had been riding on Pullman Guard Mercedes limousines that are derived from the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S600. These limousines were used to transport North Korea’s Supreme Leader around Pyongyang and the truce village of Panmunjom. These Pullman Guard Mercedes limousines were also used in Kim’s travels abroad.
Just recently, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to Pyongyang, North Korea. In his first visit to the country, Pompeo was snubbed by Kim. The second visit was more affable, with Kim finally agreeing to have a meeting with Pompeo.
In a video from the meeting, Pompeo was shown waiting in a foyer when the massive doors swung open and Kim arrived in a red carpet. Just on the background was a luxurious Rolls-Royce Phantom. Finished in elegant black, Kim’s new Phantom leaves a mystery as to its specs. Of course, this Phantom is expected not to be an ordinary one with standard specs. At the very least, it should be armored enough to withstand a rain of bullets or survived a bomb explosion.
In addition, the interior of this Phantom should be customized and bespoke enough to suit the taste and preferences of North Korea’s Supreme Leader. Rolls-Royce is more than capable to follow the will of its clients with regards to bespoke creations. Other tuners can also do such work on a Phantom for Kim.
Nonetheless, the appearance of the Rolls-Royce Phantom in North Korea isn't just about the preferences of its Supreme Leader. It could also be a political statement. This Phantom appeared just as a high-ranking US cabinet member held a meet-and-greet event with Kim. It should be noted that North Korea is under sanctions not just from the US but also from the United Nations. Against the country, UN has imposed a ban on the import of high-end goods, which included luxury automobiles and motor vehicles,
Kim parading a Rolls-Royce Phantom seems a slap on the UN sanctions – all championed by the US -- imposed against North Korea, after all, it is a luxury vehicle that comes with a high price. It is not just a symbol of an open defiance against the sanctions, but also a representation of futility of these restrictions.