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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006, 11:10 GMT
US bans luxuries for North Korea
Kim Jong-Il
The US sanctions target the lifestyle of North Korea's leadership
The US has banned the export of luxury goods to North Korea, as part of US sanctions for the North's nuclear test.

The sanctions target the lifestyle of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il and the families of his supporters.

The list includes iPods, plasma televisions, cognac, Rolex watches and artwork.

North Korea's leader is well known for his lavish lifestyle and for giving expensive cars, liquor and Japanese appliances to his close associates.

Earlier this month Japan approved a similar ban on export of luxury goods to North Korea.

The US ban is designed to affect North Korean officials rather than the impoverished population, which routinely suffers food shortages.

But it is largely symbolic, since US exports to North Korea are minimal, amounting to only $5.8m in 2005, most of which is food.

The sanctions are in response to North Korea's nuclear test on 9 October.

The UN Security Council banned the sale of military supplies and weapons to the North. It also banned sales of luxury goods, leaving individual countries to define such items.

So far Japan and the US have submitted their proposals and many European countries are also working on their lists.

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