- Officials in the Netherlands seized a shipment of 90,000 bottles of Russian vodka that were found underneath an aircraft fuselage, on a ship bound for China, Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.
- But Dutch officials believe that the shipment was really intended for North Korea, which would be a violation of United Nations sanctions against the country importing luxury goods.
- The discovery comes as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump in Vietnam on Wednesday.
When Kim Jong-un returns to North Korea after his summit with President Donald Trump, he may find his liquor cabinet running low.
On Friday, officials in the Netherlands seized a shipment of 90,000 bottles of Russian vodka that they believe were bound for North Korea, Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.
The bottles of Stolovaya vodka were reportedly found in a shipping container, nestled underneath an aeroplane fuselage, on a vessel bound for China.
But Dutch officials told Algemeen Dagblad that they have information leading them to believe that the shipment was really intended for Kim and his military commanders, which would be a violation of United Nations sanctions against the country.
“We do not want to release more information than necessary about our control strategy,” customs official Arno Kooij told the paper. “But what I can tell you is that, based on the information available, we suspected that this particular container was subject to the sanctions regime for North Korea.”
The UN bans member countries from trading luxury goods to North Korea, where nearly half of the population is malnourished, according to estimates from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.
But Kim is believed to regularly flout these rules.
Last year, a South Korean lawmaker estimated North Korea had spent $US4 billion on luxury goods from China since Kim took power in 2011.
“Kim has bought lavish items from China and other places like a seaplane for not only his own family, and also expensive musical instruments, high-quality TVs, sedans, liquor, watches, and fur as gifts for the elites who prop up his regime,” lawmaker Yoon Sang-hyun said in a statement, according to Reuters.
An investigation has been launched to determine where exactly the shipment was headed.
- Read more about Kim Jong-un and North Korea:
- Luxury hotels, a private dinner, and a possible trip to an Instagram beauty spot: Here’s how Trump’s 2nd summit with Kim Jong Un is scheduled to go down
- 32 photos that show what life is like in super secretive North Korea
- Kim Jong Un takes portable toilet to Donald Trump summit to stop people from ‘analysing his stool’
- Why everybody seems to be crying in lots of photos with Kim Jong-un
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