At recent meetings with world leaders, Kim Jong-un has been photographed in Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles, which were likely sourced via third parties.
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Like his father, Kim Jong-un (above, right) prefers trains for long distance travel wherever possible. For last week's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kim took one of his armoured trains to Vladivostok.

There, he jumped into his waiting previous-generation Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Guard. He and his entourage have been photographed in other Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles during his trips to Hanoi, Singapore and the Korean DMZ.

Due to its nuclear weapons tests, the United Nations, European Union and US have placed sanctions on North Korea, limiting the sale of minerals, arms, oil and luxury goods to the communist state.

This has led many to wonder how the "hermit kingdom" came to acquire Kim's fleet of Mercedes-Benz cars.

“We have absolutely no idea how those vehicles were delivered to North Korea,” Silke Mockert, a spokeswoman for Daimler, told the Associated Press.

She said the automaker has been in full compliance with EU and US embargoes, and "has implemented a comprehensive export control process" to ensure it doesn't sell any cars to the North Korean regime or any of its embassies.

Mockert did caution "sales of vehicles by third parties, especially of used vehicles, are beyond our control and responsibility".

It should be noted while most countries adhere strictly to the sanctions imposed on North Korea, China has long been reported as flouting many of the import and export bans.

One of only three countries to share a land border with North Korea, China has provided limited assistance to the Kim regime as it would like to keep a buffer state between it and the US-aligned South Korea.

Due to sanctions and poor economic conditions within North Korea there is a flourishing black market, with almost all goods smuggled in through the Chinese border.