March 14, 2019 12:21
The government is in a flap because the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea included in a report a photo of President Moon Jae-in getting into a Mercedes with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The government used what diplomatic means it had at its disposal to prevent the photo from being included, according to a source here. "The government used various channels to ask the UNSC committee not to use the photo of Moon boarding the Mercedes, but to no avail," the source added.
Kim has a new Maybach, which he rode with Moon through Pyongyang when the two met last September. It has no license plates.
One former high-ranking diplomat claimed the photo does seem to suggest some complicity by Moon in Kim's violation of the ban on luxury cars being sold to the North.
The report also pointed to a Rolls-Royce Phantom and Lexus SUV among luxury goods that mysteriously came into Kim's possession even though sanctions ban them.
One source claimed the sanctions committee even sent questions to the Cheong Wa Dae security team to glean information about the Maybach that Moon rode, in case they cast a beady eye on the fittings, but Cheong Wa Dae denies this.
The committee was also unable to explain how a Lexus LX570 luxury SUV Moon rode with Kim when they visited Mt. Baekdu last year ended up in Kim's hands. It asked China and Singapore for answers but received none.
Meanwhile, the report accuses some South Korean companies of violating sanctions against the North. One South Korean company was investigated on suspicion of being involved in the export of the North Korean coal. The committee points to a probe here in December last year that resulted in the indictment of nine South Koreans on charges of illegally importing coal from North Korea.
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