Rich North Koreans Seem Unaffected by Sanctions
They have no trouble scoring luxe goods
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2013 3:41 PM CDT
TV sets are displayed at a South Korean store.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(Newser) – Despite the supposedly tough sanctions on North Korea, the country's elite are having no difficulty snagging fancy new TVs, cameras, and similar luxury items. The wealthy can get around the sanctions by shopping in Beijing; North Koreans have been spotted checking in items including refrigerators and washing machines at the airport there, Reuters reports. Or, if that's too much trouble, items can be shipped to North Korea, says the owner of one kitchen appliance store in Beijing. "It's no problem at all."

The problem is that sanctions leave the definition of "luxury goods" open to interpretation. The latest sanctions prohibit luxury items such as yachts, race cars, and jewelry from being imported, but the resolution does not specifically prohibit other items. China, for one, hasn't made its definition of luxury goods public. "It's very difficult to enforce the sanction when there's no agreement on products you're willing to restrict," says one former UN monitor.

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Showing 3 of 25 comments
Mar 21, 2013 12:20 PM CDT
North Korea is Chinas DOG on a leash, they will never restrian them, maybe only by words but never action. If China ever has an armed conflict with any other nation. I can almost garuntee you that the battle field troops will be North korean.
Mar 21, 2013 1:47 AM CDT
Both China and Russia work against the USA when it comes to sanctions on NK and Iran. We have known that for years yet we pretend the sanctions are working right up until they obtain nuclear weapons
Mar 21, 2013 12:18 AM CDT
What's wrong in North Korea is there is no freedom and no free market, here in the good old USA our leader, Obama wants the same for us.......We hear that the gas prices are effect by market forces, the government has no control on the price, but when it comes to interest rates, the independent (what a joke) Fed controls the rates not market forces, why is that?. What they don't tell you is the Fed is also kicking the can down the road, the road will soon end and the piper will have to be paid. All this funny money out there only has the backing of the government which by the way is BROKE, when the crap hit the fan, we will all be wishing we lived in North Korea.