August 23, 2011 12:40
Some 3,000 to 4,000 Chinese-made military trucks and jeeps entered North Korea last month, it was confirmed Monday. According to video clips obtained by the Chosun Ilbo, over 100 military trucks and jeeps made in China went to North Korea everyday last month after going through customs in Dandong.
There were eight video clips of varying lengths ranging from two minutes to 16 minutes. The footage shows Chinese-produced military vehicles standing in the 10,000 sq.m parking lot of the Dandong customs office waiting to be cleared along with other civilian cars, and two-story trailers loaded with military vehicles waiting on the side road to enter the customs office. A local source in Dandong said, "Normally, all Chinese-made vehicles going into North Korea were civilian, but in July, a massive number of military cars went to North Korea."
A senior source in North Korea said that these cars were gifts to military officers by North Korea's heir apparent Kim Jong-un in celebration of "Victory Day," or the day the armistice in the Korean War was signed on July 27. "North Korean military vehicles produced in the 1970s and the 80s are too old to carry out drills, and many soldiers were dissatisfied. In order to buy the loyalty of the military and show what he can do, Kim Jong-un replaced the old vehicles thanks to the assistance of China," the source added.
Jeeps were given to officers to be used to conduct operations, and the trucks were given to soldiers.
Analysis of the footage suggests the trucks were 6-ton trucks made by FAW Car Limited Company. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visited the headquarters of this firm in Changchun, Jilin, during his visit to China in May. The military jeeps were manufactured by Beijing Automobile Works with engine capacity of 2,200 cc and 100 horsepower. BAW, which specializes in SUVs, trucks and military vehicles, is a subsidiary of Beijing Automotive Group, a partner of Hyundai Motor.
Dump trucks, large buses, sedans, oil trucks, agricultural machines and heavy machinery were also spotted in the video going into North Korea. In the windscreen, the name of the recipients is written. One is Korea Taesong Trading Company, a trading company under the Workers Party that manages Kim Jong-il's slush funds. It was blacklisted by the U.S. as part of its economic sanctions against the North.
In one video clip, tourist buses pack one side of the parking lot. Another clip shows a queue of several dozens of LNG trucks. A South Korean government official commented, "North Korea depends on China for almost entire amount of fossil fuel it needs."
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