Fascinating Car Culture in North Korea: A Unique Perspective

Rare YouTube footage showcases luxury car models cruising Pyongyang’s roads, including Audi, Lexus, and Mercedes.

North Korea and the Western countries have a strained relationship. Due to sanctions, the variety of goods that the Asian nation can acquire from foreign countries is limited. However, this does not mean that everything is blocked from entering North Korea. Recently, a video was posted on YouTube by a former North Korean, showcasing some unexpected vehicles in the country run by an authoritarian regime. This provides a fascinating insight into the automotive culture in North Korea.The diplomatic tension between North Korea and many Western nations has resulted in strict sanctions imposed on the Asian country. These restrictions have significantly impacted their economy, making it challenging for them to obtain certain products from other countries. Yet, despite these limitations, there are still ways for unconventional imports to make their way into North Korea.A recent video, uploaded by a former North Korean national, gives a glimpse into the vehicle scene in the reclusive country. The footage displays various cars on the streets of North Korea, some of which are unlikely to be seen in such an isolated country. It is a captivating peek into the car culture in a nation known for its harsh laws and authoritarian government.This surprising revelation highlights the fact that even under strict control and strict sanctions, unique and unexpected items can still find their way into North Korea. However, it also brings attention

A bicycle ride through Pyongyang’s bustling streets was captured on video, with the footage showcasing various car models that are not officially available in the country. However, it must be noted that this video does not have the production quality of a TikTok influencer as it may have faced disapproval from the government.

A significant number of vehicles imported into North Korea are acquired through questionable means, frequently by way of China and other allied countries. Due to low rates of car ownership in the country, walking and biking are the most common forms of transportation for the majority of citizens. The privilege of owning a vehicle is typically reserved for esteemed members of society.

Nonetheless, the footage depicts some opulent automobiles gliding through the expansive and imposing roads of Brutalist architecture. Among them are numerous vintage Mercedes-Benz vehicles, notably from the W123 and W124 generations. Toyota is also well represented, with an early model of the Highlander being prominently featured in the opening scenes. Towards the end, a luxurious third-generation Lexus LX makes an appearance, just before a possible US-spec Audi Q7 passes by the camera.

The exact time of when Jaka Parker, the person who initially shared this video, recorded the footage remains unknown. It seems to have been filmed covertly and is likely a few years outdated. Nonetheless, it is heartening to discover that there are chances to spot cars in a highly guarded location like North Korea.


Source: Jaka Parker / YouTube

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