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

Katrina Barker
January 1, 2018

The South Korean Foreign Ministry told CNN Sunday that authorities have launched an investigation into a ship it has seized, but it would not give further details "due to the sensitivity of the issue", about whether that vessel was suspected of transferring oil to North Korea in violation of worldwide sanctions on the hermit kingdom.

It is the second known vessel under probe by South Korea on suspicions of ship-to-ship supplies of petroleum products to North Korea, banned under the worldwide sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs. The port is on the west coast, south of Incheon.

The KOTI's estimated time of arrival at the port was December 19, according to VesselFinder Ltd., a tracking service provider.

The Panamanian tanker was banned from leaving port following a government meeting on December 21, the report said. They declined to provide details of the probe, and the foreign ministry also said it has yet to receive any formal notification from the related agencies on the inquiry. We are also working closely with relevant countries and ministries for a thorough implementation of the United Nations resolutions.

This is the second case of a ship being investigated by South Korea for supplying crude oil on the high seas to North Korea after Seoul announced on Friday that it had seized a vessel sailing under a Hong Kong flag.

North Korea's Nuclear Missile Program Explained- Part 3 Other Solutions
North Korea's Nuclear Missile Program Explained- Part 3 Other Solutions

The Lighthouse Winmore visited Yeosu on October 11 and loaded some 14,000 tonnes of Japanese refined oil before heading towards its purported destination in Taiwan. The KOTI does not seem to be included on the list. Its crew - mostly from Myanmar and China - were being questioned by the customs office and the intelligence agency.

China had always implemented United Nations resolutions in their entirety, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing. "China will continue to participate in the work of the relevant Security Council sanctions committee on this principle", it said in a short statement, without elaborating.

Her remarks came after U.S. President Donald Trump, in a Twitter post Thursday, wrote, "Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea".

"This is one of the main ways in which North Korea uses an illegal network to circumvent UN Security Council sanctions".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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