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N. Korea runs 9 merchant ships under foreign flags: report

2016/10/28 11:53

SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is operating nine merchant vessels by acquiring foreign countries' ship registry despite the U.S. Security Council's sanctions on the North, a media report said Friday, citing a German body on maritime navigation.

The Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics told U.S.-based media Radio Free Asia (RFA) via an e-mail that the nine ships out of the North's ships with a displacement tonnage of 300 tons or higher are running under other countries' flags, a practice called flag of convenience.

Quoting data from Clarksons Research, a provider of intelligence of global shipping, the German institute said the nine are two Togo-flagged ship, two Cambodia-flagged ships, other five ships registered in Iran, Moldova, Mongolia, Panama and Sierra Leone, respectively.

On Oct. 13, the Voice of America reported that Tanzania has canceled the ship registration of 13 North Korean vessels disguised as those of the African country.

The Mongolian government has canceled ship registry for 14 North Korean ships as part of implementing sanctions on the North and the Panamanian government has reportedly been taking a measure to cancel its granting of ship registry to North Korea.

In March, U.N. Security Council has adopted a fresh sanctions resolution against North Korea in response to Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test conducted in January and its rocket launch using banned ballistic missile technology in February. The resolution has banned offering ship registry to North Korea and the acquisition of North Korean registry by ships of member states.

A Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship with 15 North Korean crew members on board drifts in waters 3 kilometers off the coast of Seogwipo on South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju  in this file photo dated Dec. 16, 2015. (Yonhap) A Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship with 15 North Korean crew members on board drifts in waters 3 kilometers off the coast of Seogwipo on South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju in this file photo dated Dec. 16, 2015. (Yonhap)

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