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Bikes Break North Korea Trade Ban

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TOKIO, Japan – Though Japan has banned all North Korean ships from entering the nation the export of bicycles from Japan to North Korea this year surged to 81,268 units, a record high. Last October 9th, the Japanese Government decided to extend the economic sanctions for another six months. However, bicycles are one item that has been exported monthly and sources say that bicycles are now the

TOKIO, Japan – Though Japan has banned all North Korean ships from entering the nation the export of bicycles from Japan to North Korea this year surged to 81,268 units, a record high. Last October 9th, the Japanese Government decided to extend the economic sanctions for another six months.

However, bicycles are one item that has been exported monthly and sources say that bicycles are now the "main moneymakers" for traders both in Japan and North Korea. This was reported by the Daily Yomiuri. Local officials in Japan can’t take any action as the North Koreans are using vessels registrated in third countries like China.

Only North Korean-registered vessels are subject to the restrictions. Some businesspeople and economists have pointed out that this leaves a big hole in the sanctions. The sanctions were launched in the wake of Pyongyang’s nuclear test in October last year. Before the sanctions, the bicycle trade with North Korea was mainly conducted by small North Korean ships that brought marine products into Japan and took bicycles back.

Many of the third-country ships now being used are large cargo vessels. This has allowed an increase in the size of each shipment, and sharply increased the number of bicycles exported.

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