Kim Jong-un Ditches Armored Mercedes for Russian Lada in Visit to Military Base

© Photo : KCNANorth Korea's leader Kim Jong Un watches a military drill marking the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in this handout photo by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made available on April 26, 2017
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un watches a military drill marking the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in this handout photo by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made available on April 26, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The North Korean leader's surprise visit to a remote military outpost on an island in the Yellow Sea came with a bonus in the form a time-worn Russian-made budget sedan.

Photos released by South Korea's Yonhap news agency showed Kim arriving at Korean People's Army Unit 1,524 in Sindo County in North P'yongan province, northwest North Korea in a Lada Priora, a sedan which sells brand new in Russia starting at about $6,750 US (used, the cars go for as little as $800 on online auction sites).

"Kim Jong-un came to check a military base in a Lada Priora (photo by Yonhap news)."

"Kim Jong-un has tested a Russian Lada Priora battered by life."

Kim visited the military unit, which doubles as a soybean farm, for a field inspection Saturday.

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The Lada Priora is one of the best selling cars in Russia, with over a million of the compacts sold since its introduction in 2007. AvtoVaz is set to discontinue the model in July 2018 in favor of the newer X-series. Prioras are assembled in Togliatti and the Chechen city of Argun.

Russian social media users were surprised to see Kim in the Priora, asking why the leader, who has an armored Mercedes, would feel a need to ride in this "jalopy," with others suggesting it would be even better if he took to the driver's seat himself. Others asked whether Kim's Priora, known in Russia as a favorite among the lowrider community, had also been lowered. Finally, others voiced their "respect" for Kim, calling him a "cool leader."

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