Kim Jong-un Spends $600 Million on Luxury Goods a Year

In this photo published by the official Rodong Sinmun daily on Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju clap at an event to celebrate his late fathers birthday. They are wearing watches by Swiss luxury brand Movado. In this photo published by the official Rodong Sinmun daily on Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju clap at an event to celebrate his late father's birthday. They are wearing watches by Swiss luxury brand Movado.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is leading an even more luxurious lifestyle than his father Kim Jong-il, according to a report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea on Tuesday.

''Luxury good expenditure by [North Korea] rose to $645.8 million in 2012," the report said. "This was a sharp increase from the average of $300 million a year under Kim Jong-il."

Kim built a private theater for 1,000 of his closest associates and imported luxury Mercedes-Benz vehicles, high-end musical instruments and equipment and dozens of pianos, the report added.

The regime acquires the funds from the illegal sale of alcohol in Islamic countries and trafficking of ivory from Africa to China, the report quoted a former North Korean official as testifying.

"They are kept [in] the personal disposal of the supreme leader and used to cover personal expenses of the supreme leader, his family and other elites surrounding him, as well as other politically sensitive expenditures," the report said.

Meanwhile Kim and his loyalists are engaged in "systematic, widespread, and grave violations of human rights" of the absolute majority of North Koreans.

Former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman, who has been to the North three times, said he spent seven days on Kim's private island partying, jet skiing and horse riding and saw an array of big yachts there.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 19, 2014 09:26 KST