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Has Kim Jong Il Stocked up on His Cognac?

Among the sanctions against North Korea that were approved over the weekend by the U.N. Security Council, is a ban on luxury goods.

It's unclear what that will entail, but it's generally understood to be an effort to block the import of expensive items that could only be for the luxury of the North Korean leadership.

Rather than stand accused of aiming for the regime and hitting the populace -- as the United States was accused in Iraq throughout the 1990s -- the luxury goods sanctions take aim at the alleged and documented self-indulgences of Kim Jong Il.


Kim Jong Il, for example, is said to be a fan of the expensive Hennessy cognac called Paradis. Robert Siegel hears from some experts about whether a ban on such goods might have any effect.

Jeffrey Laurenti, of the Century Foundation, is a longtime United Nations expert. He says the Security Council has yet to define "luxury goods" as referred to in the resolution.

"The point is to drive home the pressures in a personal way," says David Cortright, "so that they feel the bite." Cortright is a fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame.

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