The ministry of agriculture of the Russian Federation, or Rosselkhoz, said Wednesday in an online statement a total of 30 Orlov Trotters were delivered to the Kim regime. The horses have undergone quarantine, the government said.
The Orlov Trotter is a breed with a genetically fast trot and recognized for its speed and stamina. The North Korean leader has frequently appeared in state media riding a white stallion in Mount Paektu, the official birthplace of his father Kim Jong Il.
The Russian ministry added the authorities in the maritime provinces of Siberia are supervising the trade, and that 14 of the horses are male, another 15 are female and one horse is a gelding, or a castrated animal.
"Horses that were quarantined in the central Suzdal in Vladimir Oblast were transported by vehicles to the border control station in Khasan, in the Russian Far East. They were then sent to North Korea."
North Korea has imported costly pedigree horses in the past. According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, a total of 138 horses, worth $584,302, were purchased from Russia from 2010 to 2019.
The horses may be a symbol of longstanding friendship rekindled between the two countries since Russian President Vladimir Putin reassumed office in 2012. According to Japan's Kyodo News, the white steed Kim rode on Paektu in 2019 was a gift from Putin.
Last year Kim appeared on horseback in October and December, appearing to mimic his grandfather Kim Il Sung, often portrayed on horseback in state propaganda.
"At Mount Paektu, the mount of victory, fabled snow glittered around Comrade Kim Jong Un, who has been leading the flow of history toward justice and truth, while steadily leading the nation to its utmost powers," state media said at the time.
U.N. sanctions forbid the export of luxury goods to North Korea, but international law does not clearly ban horses, according to Yonhap.