Seoul holds second ship over 'oil transfers' to North Korea

01 January, 2018, 01:42 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • South Korea Proposes High-Level Talks With North Korea

Just last week South Korea announced it had seized the Lighthouse Winmore, a Hong Kong-registered ship in late November, that it claims had transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in global waters in violation of United Nations sanctions.

South Korean authorities have seized a Hong Kong-flagged vessel believed to have secretly transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in worldwide waters in a ship-to-ship transfer prohibited by the U.N. Security Council, local media reported Friday.

Four ships - three North Korean vessels and a Palau-flagged oil tanker - were blocked from global ports by the UN Security Council on Thursday over suspicions of carrying or transporting goods banned by sanctions targeting Pyongyang's weapons ambitions, according to the final list adopted by the world body. The oil tanker was impounded on December 21 and has a crew mostly from China and Burma, ...

Russian tankers have supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea, breaching United Nations sanctions, sources told Reuters.

The Sam Jong 2 was one of four North Korean-flagged ships that were named by the United Nations on Thursday as being banned from entering foreign ports on suspicion that they are transporting goods that are prohibited under worldwide sanctions created to curtail Pyongyang's efforts to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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On Thursday, China blocked a USA effort at the United Nations to blacklist six foreign-flagged ships, a U.N. Security Council diplomat said. The Lighthouse Winmore was seized upon re-entering Yeosu on November 24, foreign ministry officials told CNN.

South Korean officials told the Chosun Ilbo newspaper that satellites had identified similar ship-to-ship transfers on 30 occasions since October. But South Korean officials did not confirm if the Lighthouse Winmore was one of the vessels pictured.

China denied the allegations, saying reports that it sold oil to North Korea did "not accord with the facts". He could not clarify whether they belonged to mainland China or Hong Kong. "We are liaising with the Korean parties concerned to obtain further information about the incident, and will take appropriate actions as necessary", the statement said.

Results of the investigation will be reported to the UN Security Council's sanctions committee, foreign ministry officials said. The KOTI does not appear to be on the list.

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