January 21, 2021

Swiss goverment stops $7.5 million dollar deal with N. Korea

Federal Council blocks sale due to "luxury goods" sanctions fears

ZURICH – The sale of ski lift equipment worth approximately 7 million Swiss francs (around $7.5 million), intended for use at a major ski-resort construction project in North Korea, has been blocked by Switzerland's Federal Council.

North Korean officials contacted the office of Swiss ski equipment manufacturer Bartholet Maschinenbau AG Flums (BMF) this spring with an interest in purchasing a combined chair lift and cable railway system, reports in the Swiss press said on Sunday. A deal was subsequently sealed at the beginning of June, with BMF agreeing to deliver the system in separate parts to a Chinese partner who would have taken on responsibility for subsequent assembly in North Korea.