Dutch customs seize 90,000 bottles of Kim Jong-un's vodka - reports

Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un Photo credit: KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jung-un's liquor cupboards may be dry for some time after 90,000 bottles of vodka were confiscated from a container ship in Rotterdam.

Acting on a tip-off from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 3000 cases of Russian vodka suspected of being destined for North Korea were discovered hidden underneath the fuselage of an aeroplane and removed.

AD News reports that an investigation is underway into whether the vodka was destined for the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Arno Kooij, the Director Risk Management for the Dutch Customs Administration, said "based on the information available, we suspected that this particular container was subject to the sanctions regime for North Korea."

Under current UN sanctions, luxury goods like vodka are banned from being exported to North Korea, though Kim Jong-un has had large quantities of items such as televisions, cheese and champagne seized in the time since they began.

The great lengths gone to try to avoid sanctions were for what turned out to be Kim Jong-un's rather cheap taste. The vodka, branded Stolbovaya, is one of the lowest-priced in Russia, going for NZ$11.60 per litre on St. Petersburg shelves.

Remco Breuker, Professor of Korean studies at the University of Leiden, told AD News it is very important that the Netherlands did not let the shipment pass.

Only 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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