09:57 GMT08 May 2021
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    Both the Customs Office and the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands declined to elaborate on why they believe the vodka was being delivered to North Korea.

    Dutch customs officials have intercepted about 90,000 bottles of Russian vodka which they claim was being smuggled to North Korea and was allegedly destined for the country’s leader Kim Jong-un, the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper reports.

    The AD cited Netherlands’ customs office spokesman Roul Velleman as confirming the interception of the cargo which was discovered in a Chinese container ship at a Rotterdam port last week.

    READ MORE: North Korea Has Not Stopped Its Nuclear Program, Violates UN Sanctions — Reports

    Velleman and the Dutch Foreign Ministry kept mum on what prompted them to suspect North Korea of being the final destination for the cargo.

    Congratulating the customs officials on the interception, Dutch Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag, for her part, recalled that “the UN Security Council has imposed clear sanctions on North Korea and it is important to enforce them”.

    “The sanctions also govern the import of luxury goods and so customs was completely justified in eventually unloading that container”, she pointed out. Pyongyang has yet to comment on the matter.

    READ MORE: Trump Says North Korea’s Kim Making ‘Terrific Progress’ After Singapore Summit

    The UNSC has repeatedly imposed sanctions on North Korea over the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

    In October 2018, Russia said that it was time to consider the possibility of relaxing the international restrictions against Pyongyang amid commitment expressed by North Korea's leadership to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula following a summit between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June of that year.


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    interception, cargo, vodka, customs, sanctions, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Netherlands
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