US government wants to make its sanctions against North Korea even more effective by targeting their elite. There is a relatively small but steady flow of luxury goods to North Korea and US is hoping that if they can cut it off completely it will hamper Kim Jong Il’s ability to bribe his top officials. The US administration is focusing on Office 39 which an underground party organization that is responsible for raising money to procure fine liquor, luxury cars and exotic food for Kim Jong Il’s inner circle.
The White House announced its measures on Monday. The New York Times elaborating on the matter said the attempt will be to completely chokeoff the flow of luxury goods that Kim uses to buy the loyalty of the political elite.
Office 39 or Room 39, as it is referred to sometimes, is a branch of the Korean Worker’s Party. It also exports exotic mushrooms, ginseng and seaweed. There are some evidence that point to the fact that they could even be counterfeiting American currency and are involved in drug trafficking. They source goods for Mr. Kim directly. In fact the Italian government stopped them from purchasing two luxury yachts worth $15 million from Italy for their leader.