The U.S. government’s first-ever effort to use trade sanctions to personally aggravate a foreign president expressly targets items believed to be favored by Kim Jong Il or presented by him as gifts to the roughly 600 loyalist families who run the communist government.
Kim, who engineered a secret nuclear weapons program, has other options for obtaining the high-end consumer electronics and other items he wants.
But the list of proposed luxury sanctions, obtained by The Associated Press, aims to make Kim’s swanky life harder: No more cognac, Rolex watches, cigarettes, artwork, expensive cars, Harley Davidson motorcycles or even personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis.
The new ban would extend even to music and sports equipment.
Responding to North Korea’s nuclear test Oct. 9, the U.N. Security Council voted to ban military supplies and weapons shipments – sanctions already imposed by the United States. It also banned sales of luxury goods but so far has left each country to define such items. Japan included beef, caviar and fatty tuna, along with expensive cars, motorcycles, cameras and more. Many European nations are still working on their lists.
This has brought out quite a number of emotions in me.
Amusement, of course, because this is hilarious. But also outrage, because it reminds me how well Kim Jong Il lives at the expense of his people. If any country is always at war with Oceania, it’s North Korea.
I have no idea if this will work at all, but it does bring me some grim pleasure to think that Dear Leader won’t be able to easily or legitimately attain his favored luxury items.