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tiptrot.com April 23, 2018


Korea holds Panama oil tanker suspected of N. Korea trade

01 January 2018, 12:22 | Bernice Figueroa

Korea holds Panama oil tanker suspected of N. Korea trade

South Korea offers to talk with North ahead of Olympics

South Korean officials are holding the 5100-tonne, Panama flagged tanker called KOTI in Pyeongtaek-Dangjin after deciding not to let release the vessel on December 21 to investigate further.

South Korea has seized a second ship as part of what it describes as an ongoing effort to monitor North Korea's attempts to evade United Nations sanctions.

Four ships - three North Korean vessels and a Palau-flagged oil tanker - were blocked from worldwide 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. State outlet Yonhap News Agency reported the ship can carry more than 5,000 metric tons of oil and has a crew mostly from China and Myanmar.

The South Korean official said on Friday that the Lightouse Winmore, chartered by a Taiwanese company and carrying oil products from South Korea, had transferred part of its cargo to a North Korean ship on 19 October.

"The actions taken will be reported to the UN Security Council sanctions committee on North Korea in the future".


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 worldwide waters in violation of United Nations sanctions.

Earlier a foreign ministry official in Seoul had said the ship had been seized briefly by customs authorities who inspected it. But South Korean officials did not confirm if the Lighthouse Winmore was one of the vessels pictured.

Russian Federation denied the reports on Saturday, saying via its foreign ministry that it "fully observes fully the sanctions regime" against North Korea. Only four of the ships on the USA list, the ones belonging to North Korea including Sam Jong 2 and Rye Song Gang 1, were blacklisted at a session held on Thursday, as AFP reported. The KOTI does not seem to be included on the list.

Four ships - three North Korean vessels and a Palau-flagged oil tanker - were blocked from worldwide ports by the UN Security Council on Thursday on suspicion of carrying or transporting goods banned by the sanctions. It is Panamanian flagged.



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