Thursday, May 30

South Korea seizes second ship carrying oil to North Korea



South Korea has seized a second vessel suspected of carrying oil to the impoverished North Korean regime and most of its crew members are thought to be nationals of China and Myanmar.

The Panama-flagged vessel was reported to be transferring oil to a North Korean ship at sea in violation of UN regulations – just like the first vessel which was reportedly carrying out a similar transfer.

The first one, a Hong Kong-registered vessel, had supplied as much as 600 tonnes of refined petroleum to a North Korean vessel in the East China Sea waters and was seized after that.

In the latest development, the 5,100-tonne KOTI has been confiscated by South Korean authorities and kept in the western port of Pyeongtaek-Dangjin in Gyeonggi Province. Seoul’s foreign ministry is yet to receive information about the seizure from the customs department.

The actions taken will be reported to the UNSC [UN Security Council] sanctions committee on North Korea in the future, an official was quoted as saying earlier. This marks a typical case of North Korea shrewdly circumventing UNSC sanctions by using its illegal networks. China had previously denied it had any knowledge of the alleged transfer.

China-denies-allegations-of-illicit-oil-sales-to-north-korea North Korea is reeling under severe economic sanctions engineered by the UNSC because of the relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons by the Kim Jong-un regime.

The country has been all finding all sorts of ways to raise money to fund its ambitious nuclear and weapons programmes.