Swiss ban "inappropriate" ski lifts for North Korea
GENEVA (REUTERS) - Switzerland has banned the sale to North Korea of equipment for a luxury ski resort planned for the ruling elite in the widely impoverished state that is under United Nations (UN) sanctions, officials said on Monday.
North Korean leader Kim Jungn, who studied under an a Ussumed name in the Swiss capital Berne and is believed to have gone on school ski trips in the Alps, wants to develop leisure activities for tourists and the upper crust among its 23 million citizens.
North Korea approached several Swiss companies, including Bartholet Maschinenbau AG, to provide chair lifts and cable cars worth 7 million Swiss francs (S$9.6 million) for its sprawling Masik resort, the Geneva daily Le Temps reported on Monday.
But the Swiss government, contacted by the companies for clearance, added luxury sporting equipment to its list of goods banned under UN sanctions, Marie Avet of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), said.