From the blog

RUSSIA: Putin Gifts North Korea’s Kim Jong Un A Luxury Aurus Car

Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented a car gift to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un according to state media reports.

In a show of a warming ties between the two countries, the Russian-made car for Kim’s personal use was delivered Sunday by a Russian delegation.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Russian state news agency TASS the car was an Aurus, the luxury automaker founded in 2018 to produce Russia’s official state cars.

Kim’s sister – and senior Pyongyang official – Kim Yo Jong thanked Putin on her brother’s behalf and said, “the gift serves as a clear demonstration of the special personal relations between the top leaders of the (North Korea) and Russia.”

North Korea is thought to be supplying Russia with artillery, rockets and ballistic missiles in the war in Ukraine, despite international sanctions on both countries. Both sides deny breaching sanctions.

Mr Putin welcomed Mr Kim to the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East last September, in what was his first trip abroad in four years.

During that visit, the North Korean leader inspected Mr Putin’s own Aurus Senat limousine and was invited to get in the back seat. They also swapped guns as gifts.

Kim Jong-un is believed to be a car enthusiast and to have a collection of luxury foreign vehicles.

But South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the gift breached UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea, which prohibit supplies of certain categories of vehicle including luxury cars.

Both Russia and North Korea have indicated that Mr Putin will visit Pyongyang soon.