Kim Jong Un spent over $500G on Russian horses over past decade, data show

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North Korea, which previously staged photo-ops of leader Kim Jong Un riding a white stallion, has spent more than $500,000 importing horses from Russia over the past decade, according to Russian customs data.

Last year, the rogue nation paid $75,509 to import a dozen Russian purebred horses, according to recently available data reviewed by Reuters.

The purchases could mean the isolated country has been bolstering its heard, as it had a history of buying high-priced horses from its Russian neighbor.


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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un riding a horse during snowfall in Mount Paektu in this image released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency in October 2019. (KCNA via REUTERS, File)

The newest additions marked North Korea’s largest purchase of Russian horses since 2015, when the secretive regime paid $192,204 for 61 horses.

The country has imported at least 138 horses between 2010 and 2019 at a cost of $584,302, the news outlet reported. The purchases came as Pyongyang has continued to push for sanctions relief over its nuclear and missile programs.


Kim was photographed riding a white stallion on the snow-covered slopes of sacred Paektu Mountain, in images released last year. Senior North Korean military officials accompanied him as he rode through historic battlefields.

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The December photo-op supposedly came a day after his country issued a veiled threat to the United States over its “hostile policies” of denuclearization.

State media played up the displays as a show of strength.

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