Kim Jong Un was accompanied by several women at the meeting with Putin: The regime elite shows a weakness for expensive brands
While the country is under sanctions and the secret police are strictly following to prevent "bad influences" from the West, the regime's elite show a weakness for expensive brands
During the recent trip of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Russia to meet with his counterpart Vladimir Putin, the women who were in the delegation, or rather the expensive bags they were carrying, attracted a lot of attention in the international media.
North Korean Foreign Minister Cho Sun Hui arrived in the Russian Far East wearing a vintage Gucci leather bag.
The price of this bag is a whopping 9.300 euros, and this is because the Gucci Zumi bag has now been withdrawn from circulation and is only sold through the corresponding website on the Internet. When this bag, which is made of ostrich leather, went on sale in the spring of 2019, its price was 9.370 euros.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Korea, an experienced diplomat, a fanatical smoker like Kim Jong Un, wanted, as reported by the international media and the website NK news, to impress with her appearance during her official visit to Russia.
However, she is not the only woman in the North Korean delegation with a weakness for expensive bags coming from the West.
Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, known for her frequent threats against the US and South Korea, was photographed during the same mission wearing a brand new Lady Dior leather bag, which costs 6.400 euros.
The media reports that the only exception was Hyon Song Wol, who accompanied Kim to Russia carrying a seven-euro Chinese purse.
The reason why the international media, such as the Times of London and the BBC, dealt with the expensive bags of the ladies who accompanied Kim to Russia is that in North Korea the secret police strictly monitor the entry of "bad influences" into the country. from the West.
As such influences they perceive the status of the Kim dynasty, expensive brands, movies, TV series and even hair styling.
It is also surprising how these expensive bags ended up in the possession of the powerful women of North Korea after the West imposed harsh sanctions on the country.
But while North Korea, a nation of 26 million people, often faces shortages of basic goods and hunger, the regime's elite show a weakness for expensive Western brands.
Expensive champagne, fine cognac and expensive cars are said to be among the "weaknesses" of Kim himself and the select few who surround him.
Although North Korea has been under Western sanctions for 15 years over its nuclear arsenal, there always seem to be hidden passages to sneak some of the Western world's expensive treats into the country.
But despite the sanctions, the opposite can also happen, i.e. import of North Korean products to Western countries. In 2020, US authorities identified and sanctioned an American company that through China imported false eyelashes made in North Korea.