The eagle-eyed hermit kingdom watchers at NK News have noticed something unusual in the latest round of photos from North Korean news agency KCNA — a luxury yacht, mysteriously docked at the ‘August 25th Fishery Station.’
The image of a luxury yacht in North Korea might take some by surprise, given that UN Security Council blocked the sale of ‘luxury goods’ to North Korea in 2006, but in practice there are a lot of ways around this law. Last year a South Korean newspaper reported that young leader Kim Jong-un had dramatically increased the amount of luxury goods imported into the country. From Dong-a Ilbo:
Imports were especially pronounced for high-end cars, TVs, computers, liquor and watches. Inbound shipments of luxury cars and associated components almost doubled to 231.93 million dollars last year from 115.05 million dollars in 2009. Ship exports increased more than 20 times from 17.48 million dollars from 840,000 dollars over the same period.
Artworks and antique imports reached 580,000 dollars last year, more than 10 times the figure of 50,000 dollars in 2009. Perfume, cosmetics and fur saw their inbound shipments double. Among items that saw sharp drops in imports were leather products and musical instruments.
NK News deduces that the yacht appears to be a $7 million, Princess 95MY yacht. A spokesperson for Princess Yachts, a part of the luxury LVMH group, said that as the boat had not been produced for several years, it was likely bought on the secondary market. The company is said to be conducting its own investigation.
Here are some pictures of the yacht from the Princess website:
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