North Korea stereotypically conjures up images of impoverished civilian life and military goose-stepping under the command of the nation’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un. Which is not usually part of this image: a recently discovered 95-foot (30 meter) luxury yacht worth $7 million.
According to NK News, an independent North Korea news outlet, an exclusive investigation revealed that Kim Jong Un has been navigating his nation’s East coast on his 10-day "on the spot guidance" tour, cruising on a luxury vessel that would float well in a rap music video.
According to NK News, the yacht is a Princess 95MY model, manufactured by the British company Princess Yachts. Princess Yachts is a company with clout in the maritime world, being associated with other luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Moet Chandon, Christian Dior and many others, all operating under their parent company LVMH Group (EPA:MC).
Official media photos from Kim’s official tour of the North Korea’s coasts were the biggest giveaway, says NK News, which found that the luxury ship had been included in several of the photographs. “During an inspection of the ‘August 25th Fishery Station,’ the starboard side of a large luxury yacht was captured in a May 28 KCNA photo of Kim and his generals walking along the docks -- indicating it might have been deliberately included in the photo,” the news outlet says. With the help of an unnamed aficionado familiar with the boats, NK News was able to determine the make and model of the ship.
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“Compare the details on the hard top roof between this and the Princess 95MY,” the boat broker familiar with Princess Yachts and other luxury yachts said to NK News. “The opening, the three stainless-steel bar supporters under the flying deck room and the detailing on the radar arch are all identical,” the source added.
The acquisition of the Princess 95MY, if confirmed, would be a first for North Korea under Kim Jong-Un, but it does maintain other personal ships. Kim Jong Un’s predecessor, Kim Jong Il, had two large ‘superyachts’ and a mobile swimming pool moored amongst other military naval craft. Kim Jong Il tried to add to his collection in 2009, but was blocked by international law. In The sale of two Azimut yachts that were reportedly bound for North Korea was halted because of UN Security Council resolution that prohibited the sale of ‘luxury goods’ to North Korea under Resolution 1718.