Business is booming in the “Singapore shops” that sell to North Korea’s elite and foreign visitors everything from Ukrainian vodka to brand-name knock-offs from China.

The stores stock many of the very things U.N. sanctions banning trade in luxury goods are intended to block.

And it’s a nagging reminder that not everyone conforms to the U.S. policy of imposing maximum pressure on North Korea. Especially when there’s millions to be made.

The well-stocked shelves belie the hit its supplies must have taken with the arrest of its former Singaporean supplier.

Ng Kheng Wah was charged on July 18 and granted bail. A pretrial conference is scheduled for Jan. 17. For each offense under the U.N. sanctions act, Ng faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail plus fines.

In this  Dec. 21, 2018, photo, a North Korean woman walks past the entrance of Bugsae Shop, also known as the
In this Dec. 21, 2018, photo, a North Korean woman walks past the entrance of Bugsae Shop, also known as the “Singapore Shop,” in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Source: The Associated Press