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On DPRK Sanctions, Some Bring Up Human Rights But Not Rodman

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 20 -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea and sanctions on it were behind closed doors the topics of a UN Security Council meeting on May 20. Afterward sanctions committee chair Sylvie Lucas of Luxembourg emerged to provide a careful summary to the press.

  She said there was discussion of "implementation assistance notices" and of the ship stopped in Panama. Some members brought up human rights -- as an indication of the DPRK's attitude toward its obligations, she hastened to add.

  Inner City Press asked Lucas when other members states might get briefed -- June -- and if there was any further discussion of luxury goods and, yes, Dennis Rodman.

   After Dennis Rodman's last strip to North Korea, bearing as gifts for Kim Jong-un a mink coat, Jameson and his own brand of vodka, on January 24 Inner City Press asked Lucas if this level of gift was too low for consideration by the committee. Video here and embedded below.

  No, Lucas said, "this is not too low." She said that "luxury goods are on the sanctions list, there are cases where luxury cases have been stopped and those cases have been referred to the committee... The feeling of the Council is that with DPRK, if you have an embargo on luxury goods this is going to hurt the leading parties."

  (The gaggle outside the Committee meeting was on the record, with digital audio recorders and now as before, small cameras.)

  She said the Rodman case had not arisen in the closed door January 24 meeting of the committee, which focused on an "incident report" about the ship from Cuba to North Korea stopped in Panama, and about scheduling.

 (Click here for Inner City Press' report from earlier about the Democratic People Republic of Korea Ambassador Sin Son Ho's UN press conference, at which Inner City Press asked about Ban Ki-moon's call to South Korea's president, which the UN has refused to read-out.)

  But if reports are true that the Obama administration, miffed at Rodman's visits, is investigating his gifts to Kim Jong-un, the US is a leading member of the UN's sanctions committee. So soon the US will either put up or shut up. Would it be a slam dunk? Who knows. But here's Exhibit A, on Twitter. Watch this site.


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