Korea Seizes Second Ship Suspected Of Transporting Oil To N. Korea
Jan 01, 2018, 01:14
But images from the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), released at the end of November, appear to show an attempt between North Korea and China to conduct a ship-to-ship transfer, possibly of oil, to evade sanctions.
The revelation comes days after South Korea said it was holding a Hong Kong-flagged ship and crew members over transferring petroleum products to a North Korean vessel in worldwide waters in October.
Russian Federation denied the reports on Saturday, saying via its foreign ministry that it "fully observes fully the sanctions regime" against North Korea.
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 global sanctions created to curtail Pyongyang's efforts to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The 5,100-tonne KOTI was detained two weeks ago at the South's port of Pyeongtaek-Dangjin and its crew are being investigated over the alleged ship-to-ship transfers, Yonhap news agency cited local maritime officials as saying.
"This marks a typical case of North Korea shrewdly circumventing UN Security Council sanctions by using its illegal networks", a South Korean Foreign Ministry official said.
The US leader on Thursday tweeted, "Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea".
The Lighthouse Winmore, which was chartered by a Taiwanese company, was impounded by South Korean customs authorities at the port of Yeosu on Nov 24 following an inspection.
Results of the investigation will be reported to the UN Security Council's sanctions committee, foreign ministry officials said.
They said: "There is no evidence that this is backed by the Russian state - but these Russian vessels are giving a lifeline to the North Koreans".
The Panamanian tanker was banned from leaving port following a government meeting on December 21, the report said. "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.
Three sanctions have targeted North Korea this year, taking aim at iron, coal, fishing, textiles, oil and refined petroleum products.
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