President Bush bans sale of iPods to North Korea

“The Bush administration wants North Korea’s attention, so like a scolding parent it’s trying to make it tougher for that country’s eccentric leader to buy iPods, plasma televisions and Segway electric scooters,” Ted Bridis reports for The Associated Press.

MacDailyNews Note: “So like a scolding parent?” Just report the news, Ted. We don’t want or need your personal spin on it.

Bridis continues, “The U.S. government’s first-ever effort to use trade sanctions to personally aggravate a foreign president expressly targets items believed to be favored by Kim Jong Il or presented by him as gifts to the roughly 600 loyalist families who run the communist government.”

“The list of proposed luxury sanctions, obtained by The Associated Press, aims to make Kim’s swanky life harder: No more cognac, Rolex watches, cigarettes, artwork, expensive cars, Harley Davidson motorcycles or even personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis,” Bridis reports.

“Experts said the effort – being coordinated under the United Nations – would be the first ever to curtail a specific category of goods not associated with military buildups or weapons designs, especially one so tailored to annoy a foreign leader. U.S. officials acknowledge that enforcing the ban on black-market trading would be difficult,” Bridis reports.

Bridis reports, “‘It’s a new concept; it’s kind of creative,’ said William Reinsch, a former senior Commerce Department official who oversaw trade restrictions with North Korea during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Reinsch predicted governments will comply with the new sanctions, but agreed that efforts to block all underground shipments will be frustrated… ‘If you take away one of the tools of his control, perhaps you weaken the cohesion of his leadership,’ said Robert J. Einhorn, a former senior State Department official who visited North Korea with Albright and dined extravagantly there. ‘It can’t hurt, but whether it works, we don’t know.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jim” for the heads up.]


  1. This man allows himself all the luxuries in the world, and affords “his people” nothing.

    I think an iPod or two less wont hurt. Maybe he should start feeding the starving people that are forced to live on North Korea’s lands.

    But that would be the smart thing to do. It seems that Kim does not have too much in the way of “smarts” lately.

    And PS…going to war with North Korea is NOT a viable solution. Somebody try and convince that President of yours. He won’t listen to me.

  2. Just report the news? How many times have I clicked on MDN lead-in, just to find that the person or party didn’t actually say what is in the headline. Not that I mind all that much, and the comments are often witty and entertaining, but you shouldn’t be in line to chatise a writer for attaching his spin.

  3. The great and glorious Dear Leader has no use for electronic toy designed by California imperialists and made by their compliant Chinese running dogs.

    The great and glorious Dear Leader uses Zune to hear recordings made in our re-education camps, where he can listen to reactionary enemies of the state confess their crimes, punctuated by their <strike>screams</strike> enthusastic exclamations of love for the regime, under <strike>torture</strike> kind persuasion.

  4. Dear Readers,

    MacDailyNews do not purport to be journalists. They clearly denote that it is their OPINION with the words “MacDailyNews Note” and “MacDailyNews Take.”

    A reporter for The Associated Press is not supposed to inject his own “take” into articles. This AP article is NOT an opinion or editorial.

    Sadly, journalism as a profession has declined to obscenely low standards.

    MacDailyNews is correct to criticize Bridis and The AP in this instance.

    Further, the “MacDailyNews Takes” are why I visit this site several times per day.

    MDN Magic Word: “freedom” (it is magic)

  5. the thing is as a serious news article, smart alec remarks isn’t acceptable. MDN is basically a blog, it doesn’t report the news, it comments on them, so smart alec remarks are fine and even expected.
    Frankly, I find most of their comments quite funny/educational. Those smart alec comments are the reason I come to MDN (and one stop shopping).

  6. UKJIM
    NK has successfully launched medium range missles capable of hitting Tokyo and capable of carrying a small warhead. The effect of a nuclear strike on the Asian financial center would be catastrophic, not to mention the loss of life. Remember also, the Koreans were brutally treated by Japan in the first half of the 20th century and have waited many years for an adequate apology, so they have a smoldering grudge as well.

  7. welcome to the weekly MDN political flamewar, sponsored by the bajillion ads that i am blocking out on this page.

    this one has a bit of everything:

    1. Bush-bashing
    2. MDN‘s conservative agenda
    3. International relations/axis of evil
    4. the liberal media

    let’s see if we can work a religious angle in here too …

  8. Hey Journalism Professor,

    How is “MacDailyNews Note” and “MacDailyNews Take” telling me its opinion? If anything MDN is misleading. Take the news out of the name otherwise MDN should stop spinning their opinions into the news they report on as well.

  9. Go for it MDN, we back your takes, and your headlines.

    And as for North Korea, who knows, it may just be that he will step down for the lack of an iPod, it certainly won’t be for the lack Zunes… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool hmm” style=”border:0;” />

  10. +10 points to the first person who can find a global warming angle to this story
    +20 points to the first person who can find a gay-marriage angle to this story
    +50 points to the first person who can find a creationism/evolution angle to this story

    let’s take this thread to infinity … and beyond!

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