Russian Federation denies North Korea sanctions breach claims

Marsha Scott
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 global sanctions on the hermit kingdom.

The investigation has so far determined that the ship was chartered by a Taiwanese company, Billions Bunker Group, and had initially docked in Yeosu Port on October 11 to take on a cargo of Japanese refined petroleum before going on to its final declared destination of Taiwan four days later.

The seizure follows that of the Lighthouse Winmore, another oil tanker which Seoul claims supplied fuel products to North Korea in October, in breach of UN Resolution 2375.

The Lighthouse Winmore is one of 10 ships the USA has asked the Security Council to blacklist for violating sanctions against North Korea.

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

Only four of the ships on the US 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.

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OFAC said it had found three Chinese companies had cumulatively exported about $650m (about £483m) worth of goods to North Korea and cumulatively imported more than $100m (about £744m) worth of goods between January 2013 and the end of August 2017.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said the vessel departed the port of Yeosu in South Korea on October 19 carrying refined oil that was then transferred to a North Korean ship in global waters.

Even though the Sam Jong 2 was not among the four banned vessels, it appears on a list of six other ships suspected of transporting illicit cargo, along with the Lighthouse Winmore.

"The situation you have mentioned absolutely does not exist", Reuters quoted Ren Guoqiang as saying.

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".

The council has unanimously approved several rounds of sanctions against North Korea over its missile tests and nuclear programme, including a tough new United Nations resolution earlier this month. He is from Varna, Bulgaria and work have experience in management and development of maritime websites.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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