Italy Foils Sale of $18M Yachts to Dear Leader

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2009 8:22 AM CDT
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il claps while visiting Taedonggang Tile Factory, in North Korea.   (AP Photo/KRT via APTN)
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(Newser) – Italian authorities believe they have torpedoed Kim Jong-Il's hopes of acquiring a pair of new luxury yachts, the Financial Times reports. The sale of the $18 million yachts, which would have violated international sanctions, was blocked after investigators traced the contract to North Korea. Authorities say they have no proof the vessels were destined for the country's ailing leader, although the list of North Koreans able to afford multimillion dollar yachts is a very short one.