Suspecting deal with North, Seoul seizes ship

  • Suspecting deal with North, Seoul seizes ship

Suspecting deal with North, Seoul seizes ship

The ship, which can carry 5,100 metric tons of oil, is now docked in Pyeongtaek-Dangjin port on South Korea's west coast after security officials reportedly decided on December 21 not to allow the vessel to leave the port, according to Yonhap citing a local maritime office.

South Korean officials seized a second ship they suspect of transporting oil products to North Korea.

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.

"This marks a typical case of North Korea shrewdly circumventing UN Security Council sanctions by using its illegal networks", he told journalists.

The ship, seized at Yeosu Port on November 24, is suspected of transferring 600 tons of refined petroleum to a North Korean ship named Samjong No. 2.

The two sources cited naval intelligence and satellite imagery of the ships operating out of Russian Far Eastern ports.

Under United Nations Security Council resolution 2375, which was adopted in September, companies or organizations of member states are not permitted to carry out the ship-to-ship transfer of any goods that are bound for North Korea.

The move comes after months of attempts by Trump to pally up with Russian Federation and China in a bid to win their support over North Korea.

Both China and Russian Federation are the DPRK's long-standing energy patrons, as North Korea has no domestic oil and gas production of its own.

The seizure of the vessel underlines the lengths to which the North Korean government is going to evade sanctions, as well as hinting at the impact they are having on the regime. It didn't include even harsher measures sought by Washington that would ban all oil imports and freeze global assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un. "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.

Under the most recent sanctions, imposed in early December, North Korea is only permitted to import 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum a year, a reduction of 86 percent of its previous imports.

CNN's Taehoon Lee reported from in Seoul, Lauren Said-Moorhouse wrote from London while Yuli Yang and James Griffiths contributed from Hong Kong.