North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has ordered most Japanese cars in the communist country seized in a sign of his growing discontent with Japan imposing severe sanctions after the North's detonation of a nuclear bomb last October, the Yonhap News Agency reported Monday quoting informed sources.(Hat Tip: mark in mexico)
"After he paid tribute to the Kumsusan Memorial Palace on Jan. 1, he saw a Japanese car that wasn't working blocking the road and gave a National Defense Committee edict to seize Japanese cars," Yonhap quoted a source familiar with the North Korean situation as saying, asking to remain anonymous.
North Korea's founding leader Kim Il-sung's embalmed body lies in the memorial in Pyongyang.
In North Korea, senior government officials have German-made Mercedes-Benzes, while midlevel officials and Japanese North Koreans drive Japanese cars. Most North Korean institutions also operate Japanese cars for official purposes.
Under Kim's order, all Japanese cars are to be seized or banned from the streets, except for ones given as gifts to secret service agencies, prestigious movie stars and athletes, Yonhap reported quoting the sources.
"Since the measures took effect, the discontent of car owners in Pyongyang has been growing. It remains to be seen whether the authorities will be able to implement them fully, because most of the cars operating in North Korea are Japanese," another source was quoted as saying.
According to the report, Kim's sudden order might be connected with Japan's push for sanctions against North Korea since the country staged its first-ever nuclear weapon test in October. [...]
Monday, February 19, 2007
They don't have the hang of this at all. He didn't just confiscate some cars, he "called for a stubborn struggle to lay bare the nature of the moves of the Japanese right-wing reactionaries and strictly frustrate their sinister political intention with the might of unity." (Actually, that was someone named Ro Mu Hyon.)