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Goods barred from N. Korea reads like Christmas list in reverse

WASHINGTON—Take that, Mr. Kim! No iPods for you. No Segways, snowmobiles or flat-screen TVs, either. And definitely no booze or smokes.

Following up on a U.N. Security Council resolution that was passed after North Korea's nuclear weapons test in October, the Commerce Department on Friday issued a list of luxury goods that can't be exported to the fun-loving regime of North Korean "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il.

The prohibitions, a dollop of light reading in Friday's edition of the usually deadly dull U.S. Federal Register, read like a Christmas list in reverse:

Tobacco; luxury watches; apparel (including "designer fountain pens, silk scarves"); cosmetics; "perfumes and toilet waters"; rugs, porcelain and tableware and lead crystal; jewelry; flat-screen TVs "and any television larger than 29 inches"; personal digital music players and laptop computers; yachts; personal watercraft; luxury automobiles, racing cars, snowmobiles and motorcycles; personal transportation devices; musical instruments; recreational sports equipment; wine, beer, ales and liquor.

The idea is to put the hurt on Kim and his inner circle, who are reputed to enjoy life's luxuries while many of North Korea's 25 million people live on the edge of starvation.

Kim is reported to favor foreign movies and expensive cognac. But the list didn't include one of his other trademarks: designer sunglasses.


(c) 2007, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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