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 |  Jul 18 2011, 3:00 PM

North Korea’s chronic food shortages are reported to be reaching levels similar to the 1994 famine that struck the isolated Asian nation, and Kim Jong-Il, the world’s best dressed hereditary communist dictator, couldn’t care less.

According to a report by North Korean affairs blog One Free Korea, the North Korean dictator was spotted in China being chauffeured in a Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Guard, an armored, extended-wheelbase S600 that costs $200,000 more than the Maybach limousines reportedly favored by Jong-Il.

Witnesses said that the two S600s were fitted with Beijing license plates, a common practice for vehicles exported from China to North Korea by air freight. Trade documents obtained by One Free Korea show that $3.1 million worth of unspecified European cars were exported from China to North Korea in 2010.

The blog also notes that one ton of corn costs $250 on the open market, meaning that the North Korean government could have purchased 13,000 tons of corn for its starving populace.

[Source: One Free Korea]

 |  Mar 10 2011, 4:05 PM

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When some other manufacturers announce armored variants of their vehicles, we sometimes wonder why. When Maybach announces an armored variant of their 62 luxury sedan, we wonder what took them so long. The engineers over at Sindelfingen, Germany, equipped Maybach’s 62 with integrated safety systems to suit all the very important people that need protection while traveling in the ultimate luxury sedan.

Maybach boasts that their armored version of the 62, dubbed 62 Guard, only weighs 895-lbs more than the non-armored version. Its reinforcement comes from a specially-made armor featuring steel and high-tech Kevlar that’s integrated into the body shell. Maybach also claims that the base of the Maybach Guard was already designed for the additional weight, so no additional changes were made to the drivetrain, suspension or brakes.

Most importantly though is the fact that Maybach is the only armored car in the world that can reach a top speed of 155-mph. The Maybach 62 Guard can also receive almost all the same options of individualization that a standard Maybach can receive. No pricing was announced.

Official press release available after the break.

GALLERY: 2011 Maybach 62 Models

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