To punish Kim Jong Il for testing nuclear missiles, the Bush administration wants to keep iPods out of the hands of the North Korean leader and his supporters. On June 19, 2000, the U.S. eased economic sanctions against North Korea to improve relations and to encourage North Korea to refrain from missile testing. On Oct. 9 this year, in response to a North Korean missile test, President Bush said, “The North Korean regime remains one of the world’s leading proliferator[s] of missile technology, including transfers to Iran and Syria.
The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable of the consequences of such action.” According to the Associated Press, the Bush administration plans to strike back at Kim by denying luxuries to the reportedly hedonistic North Korean leader and his political allies through trade sanctions. The list of items to be banned reportedly includes artwork, cognac, cigarettes, expensive cars, Rolex watches, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, personal watercraft, musical instruments, sports equipment, Segway scooters, and personal electronics, such as iPods and plasma televisions. Officials at the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control were unable to immediately confirm or deny the existence of any such list.