|President Moon Jae-in's motorcade crosses the Imjin River and heads to Panmunjeom in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, Friday. / Yonhap|
|President Moon Jae-in's motorcade drives past Jayu-ro Road and heads to Panmunjeom in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, Friday. / Yonhap|
By Ko Dong-hwan
As President Moon Jae-in left Cheong Wa Dae on Friday morning and headed to Panmunjeom to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the presidential motorcade drew attention because most of the 13 cars in it were imports.
Except for Hyundai Motor's white Genesis police car that led the motorcade, all the vehicles were products of foreign motor companies.
What stood out most was a group of five black Cadillac Escalades by American carmaker General Motors. They initially grabbed attention when the president's bodyguards in the SUVs appeared through the roofs to monitor the surroundings as they left the presidential office and drove down Sejong-ro Road in Gwanghwamun District in Jongno-gu, Seoul.
In front of the Escalades were two Maybachs by German luxury auto brand Mercedes-Benz, one of which carried Moon. Two S-class sedans of the same brand were in front of the Maybachs and behind the Escalades.
At the rear were two vans ― a Starcraft by GM Chevrolet and a Sprinter by Mercedes-Benz.
The South Korean President's state motorcade often draws attention for the models that are in it and some questioned why there weren't more domestic brands. Chinese President Xi Jinping is known to use Chinese luxury brand Hongqi.
Moon's motorcade passed Gwanghwamun district at 8:10 a.m., drove past Mapo Bridge at 8:17 a.m., entered Jayu-ro Road at 8:21 a.m., arrived at Goyang at 8:31 a.m., and went past the Unification Observatory at 8:41 a.m. It arrived in Panmunjeom at 9:01 a.m.