Published: Mon, January 01, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

South Korea seizes second ship transferring oil to North

South Korea seizes second ship transferring oil to North

The seizing of the ships is part of ongoing efforts to implement U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea.

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.

The resolution adopted by the council included sharply lower limits on North Korea's refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months, and a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to and from the country.

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 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.

The crew of a Hong Kong-registered ship have been detained for questioning in South Korea since their tanker was impounded in November for transferring oil to a North Korean vessel and breaching United Nations sanctions, customs officials said Saturday.

Earlier a foreign ministry official in Seoul had said the ship had been seized briefly by customs authorities who inspected it.

The UN Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions on the North this year to try to stop its nuclear and missile tests.

Earlier this month, the USA requested the U.N. Security Council to deny access to ports worldwide to 10 ships suspected of violating trade sanctions on North Korea.

The Hong Kong government said in a statement Friday it had noted media reports that the Lighthouse Winmore had been seized.

"Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea".

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. 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. It is Panamanian flagged.

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