iPods hold the honor of being among “luxury items” that the U.S. government is banning from export in North Korea as a trade sanction aimed at personally annoying North Korean President Kim Jong Il.
he Bush administration wants North Korea’s attention, so like a scolding parent it’s trying to make it tougher for that country’s eccentric leader to buy iPods, plasma televisions and Segway electric scooters.
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.
[T]he 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. – Newsvine
The strongman is known to have a taste for the finer things in life–quite ironic since most of the citizens of the mostly-isolated communist country live in poverty. He is also said to give lavish gifts to his cronies as a way of keeping them loyal.
The trade sanctions are being enforced in the wake of failed multi-national negotiations for the disarmament of North Korea’s nuclear arms program.
Of course, acquisition of these goods from the black market is always a possibility. I wonder, though, if Kim has an iTunes account!