North Korea's "Buy Nothing Day" Gets a Boost


The Bush administration wants to ban the sale of "luxury items" to, um, Pyongyang:

The U.S. government's first-ever effort to use trade sanctions to personally aggravate a foreign president expressly targets items believed to be favored by Kim Jong Il…

The list of proposed luxury sanctions, obtained by The Associated Press, aims to make Kim's swanky life harder: No more cognac, Rolex watches, cigarettes, artwork, expensive cars, Harley Davidson motorcycles or even personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis.

It's unclear what policy effect taking away Kim Jong Il's iPod would have; and we'll never know, because there is no way these sanctions will have any effect on his ability to stockpile untraceable goods. But you'll be glad to know the watercraft industry is onboard:

The Washington-based Personal Watercraft Industry Association said it also supports the U.S. sanctions — although it bristled at the notion a Jet Ski was a luxury.

"The thousands of Americans and Canadians who build, ship and sell personal watercraft are patriots first," said Maureen Healey, head of the trade group. She said it endorsed the ban "because of the narrow nature of this ban and the genuine dangers that responsible world governments are trying to stave off."