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Kim Jong-un © AFP/Douane Rotterdam

Customs intercepted a container full of vodka destined for the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

In the port of Rotterdam, Customs has intercepted a container full of vodka destined for the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the leaders of his armed forces. The container was on board a ship, hidden underneath an aircraft fuselage.

On the eve of the summit where Kim Jong-un is to meet with President Trump of the United States, and in the week where he rationed his people, the find of 3,000 boxes, each of dozens bottles of Russian vodka, is salient. Last Friday, Customs seized the container on the instructions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The vodka originated from Russia.

A reconstruction by this newspaper reveals that early last week the port of Rotterdam flagged the container on board the Nebula, a ship belonging to the Chinese shipping company Cosco Shipping. The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is known for importing lots of luxury goods such as televisions, cheese and champagne. UN sanctions prohibit the worldwide export of these goods to the communist country, however Kim Jong-un regularly tries to circumvent those sanctions.

Sanctions

,,The Security Council of the United Nations has imposed clear sanctions on North Korea, so it is important to enforce those sanctions,” said the Minister for Foreign Trade, Sigrid Kaag, who ordered the seizure of the container of vodka. ,,The sanctions also govern the import of luxury goods and so Customs was completely justified in eventually unloading that container.”

Kaag is satisfied with the action. ,,Over the past few days, we have worked closely together to unload the container. My compliments to all those involved, including the shipping company.”

According to Remco Breuker, Professor of Korean studies at the University of Leiden, it is very important that the Netherlands did not let the shipment pass. Last week it was learnt that the people of North Korea live on a food ration of 300 grams a day, and that is only half of what it used to be. Breuker said that “the vodka should be auctioned and the proceeds used to help North Korean refugees”.

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© Douane