Kim Jong-un, North Korea leader.
(photo credit: KNS / KCNA / AFP)
The Knesset Economics Committee banned exports of luxury goods to North Korea on Wednesday, following criticism from the UN that Israel defied sanctions.
Tax Authority Exports Department manager David Huri reported to the committee that in recent years, Israelis exported $400,000 in gold to North Korea, in defiance of a UN Security Council decision from 2006. Since 2011, the only exports to North Korea were books and dental implants, and in 2014, there were no exports to Pyongyang.
Economics Committee chairman Eitan Cabel (Zionist Union) said, “The gold certainly is not going to North Korean citizens, who don’t have enough to eat.”
Huri said recent attempts to export more gold to North Korea were stopped, and that they “degrade Israel.”
Cabel criticized the Economy Ministry for not bringing the import-export ban to the committee sooner.
“If there was such a long delay, for almost 10 years, on such a relatively simple matter, what will happen with more significant issues?” he wondered.
The committee authorized a ban on the export or import of luxury items to North Korea, including wine and alcohol, tobacco, caviar, yachts, cosmetics, furs, gold, silver, precious and semiprecious stones, art, laptops and tablets, sporting equipment and other items.
The order also requires any other exports to Pyongyang to be under the Economy Ministry’s supervision, and that only those who are licensed may export.