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Dutch officials seize vodka shipment believed to be bound for N. Korea

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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.

Customs authorities believe the shipment of vodka may have been destined for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty

The bottles of Stolovaya vodka were reportedly found in a shipping container, nestled underneath an airplane 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.”

Kim is seen imbibing champagne in April 2018.
Korea Summit Press Pool via AP

Read more:Hidden TV cameras caught Kim Jong Un taking a cigarette break in the middle of China on his epic train journey to his summit with Trump

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 Organization.

But Kim is believed to regularly flout these rules.

The United Nations bans member countries from trading luxury goods to North Korea. Above, a customs official looks through the vodka shipment.
Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty

Last year, a South Korean lawmaker estimated North Korea had spent $4 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.

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