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Sanctioned N. Korean vessels detected on radar: report

2016/05/14 13:06

SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- A group of North Korean vessels have been detected resuming navigation about one month after United Nations sanctions left them grounded, a report said Saturday.

Five North Korean ships that belong to North Korean firm Ocean Maritime Management Co. (OMM) have sailed through the West Sea and waters near Japan over the past 10 days, the Washington-based Voice of America (VOA) reported, citing traffic information filed by Marine Traffic, an online vessel tracking program.

South Hill 5 and Chol Ryong were seen sailing from the North Korean part of the West Sea northward toward the western port city of Nampo on May 2 and 4. Another ship, Sebo, was detected moving northward from the West Sea close to China before disappearing from the radar on May 8, according to the VOA.

On Friday, one more OMM ship, Mirim 2, was seen moving northeast from a location some 135 kilometers south of the South Korean island of Jeju, while the freighter Chong Chon Gang was caught moving in the waters near Japan on May 4, it also reported.

The vessels have resumed sailing near China and Japan with their automatic identification systems off to stay undetected, the report said.

In retaliation of North Korea's defiant nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February, the United Nations Security Council adopted its most stringent-ever resolution on the communist country, which blacklisted the North Korean firm's vessels.

Since last month, most OMM vessels had not shown up in the sea.

The VOA report said the five detected ships may not have been sailing just between North Korean ports given that they were seen in waters near China and Japan.