Cars and Other Vehicles

How North Korea Stole 1,000 Volvos From Sweden

this is the story of how north korea stole 1000 volvos from sweden the cars are worth millions and they’re openly driven around the capital pyongyang but there’s nothing that sweden can do about it this is the biggest car robbery in history welcome to with a population of a little over 25 million people north korea has only around 30 000 vehicles on the road a lot of them are military and most others are cheap copies of cars from the west valve 144 one of the fastest volvos on the road now this was a super popular car back in the 70s and it was so safe people often referred to it as a tank in fact the car was so impressive north korea ordered 1 000 of them from volvo back then fast forward 48 years and these 144s are still spotted around the capital but these cars still haven’t been paid for and north korea boldly ignores the reminders that sweden sends to them twice a year so how did north korea manage to steal 1 000 cars in broad daylight and get away with it well back in 1974 north korea’s economy was growing fast the country was overflowing with soviet money and this surplus caught the attention of businesses around the world so when an order for a thousand one-four force came in from north korea’s supreme leader at the time kim il-sung bravo jumped at the opportunity to do business in this new market and promptly shipped the cars across the cars were part of a larger trade deal and everything was going so well that sweden became the first western country to set up an embassy there but a year later north korea’s economic condition took a u-turn things started to deteriorate and suddenly sweden realized they weren’t going to be paid for anything by then it was already too late sweden had already invested 131 million dollars in cars and heavy machinery and north korea had decided to skip the bill but what did north korea do with 1 000 stolen luxury cars they used them as taxis crazy right almost half a century later these volos are still spotted cruising around pyongyang they’ve been photographed by tourists and to the surprise of everyone the cars are in mint condition but how north korea managed this level of upkeep has baffled everyone in the outside world given that international sanctions prevent them from importing so many things there are a couple of theories floating around some speculate that the deal may have included spare parts others say the parts probably get smuggled in from other countries where the car was sold or maybe north korea managed to replicate the parts it needs in its small copycat car industry in fact sweden’s embassy in pyongyang tweeted about these cars a few years ago and they seemed kinda impressed at how good they still were so what kind of impact did this have on volvo none because the sale of cars was insured by the swedish export credit agency ekn when north korea failed to pay ekn stepped in and volvo didn’t suffer financially to this date ekn reminds north korea twice a year of its debt that’s now over 322 million dollars with inflation and interest over the years and fun fact even if kim jong-un and his officers were to round up all 1000 volvos and sell them at their current book value of 2 100 each they’d only cover 0.6 percent of the debt now sweden aren’t the only ones that got robbed by north korea reports suggest that the kim regime owe quite a bit of cash to a lot of other businesses around the world this allegedly includes 5 million euros to swiss watch brand rolex for 2 000 wrist watches it ordered with the engraving donated by kim il-sung on it but why aren’t sweden taking a stronger approach to recover the money two words strategic diplomacy basically north korea trusts sweden unlike other western nations sweden also has strong roots with the united states so it often acts as an intermediary between north korea and the us in the nuclear weapons crisis and whenever needed sweden uses its special relationship with north korea to negotiate the release of western detainees given the poor condition of north korea the debt probably won’t get paid anytime soon and while 1 000 cars seem to be the cost of diplomacy one thing’s for sure volvo certainly knows how to engineer some really sturdy cars let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to like and subscribe [Music] you
Video source:

Related Articles

Back to top button