"The 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," Ted Bridis reports for The Associated Press.
Bridis continues, "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."
"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," Bridis reports.
"Experts said the effort - being coordinated under the United Nations - would be the first ever to curtail a specific category of goods not associated with military buildups or weapons designs, especially one so tailored to annoy a foreign leader. U.S. officials acknowledge that enforcing the ban on black-market trading would be difficult," Bridis reports.
Bridis reports, "'It's a new concept; it's kind of creative,' said William Reinsch, a former senior Commerce Department official who oversaw trade restrictions with North Korea during Bill Clinton's presidency. Reinsch predicted governments will comply with the new sanctions, but agreed that efforts to block all underground shipments will be frustrated... 'If you take away one of the tools of his control, perhaps you weaken the cohesion of his leadership,' said Robert J. Einhorn, a former senior State Department official who visited North Korea with Albright and dined extravagantly there. 'It can't hurt, but whether it works, we don't know.'"
Are you freaking kidding me! Does anybody not think for one moment that North Korea couldn't buy all these luxury items somewhere else in the world? Way to go George, that is showing them who is boss. Bad guys all over the world are now going to change their ways for fear of not being able to get a iPod from the US.
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