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13 April

Asia /

Media report illegal shipments of elite Land Cruiser to the DPRK

According to the Japanese edition, smuggling came from China

Photo: Toyota

/NOVOSTIVL/ Japanese-made luxury vehicles that were used by Chinese military forces are being smuggled into North Korea through the Chinese border city of Dandong, Liaoning province, an informed source said. This article appeared in the Jiji Press.

While such vehicles are among luxury goods whose export to North Korea is banned under U.N. sanctions, it is believed that many banned items are secretly being brought into the reclusive country through informal channels at the China-North Korea border.

According to the source in Dandong, who is familiar with the Chinese and North Korean situations, photographs were taken of two Toyota Land Cruisers in the city last month. The vehicles were to be brought into North Korea, the source said. The vehicles cost about $13,000 each.

"It is unlikely that the Chinese military is involved (in the smuggling) systematically. Some people related to the military appear to have sold the used vehicles through informal channels to make extra money," the source said.

Used vehicles are being delivered illegally to North Korea by boat and other means, skipping formal procedures at Chinese customs and avoiding detection.