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(LEAD) S. Korea completes consultation with int'l community over fuel supply to N.K. ship

2018/02/09 17:16

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(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 7-8)

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has completed its consultation with the international community over whether to provide fuel to a North Korean ship that carried its art troupe earlier this week, a government official said Friday.

North Korea has asked that the South refuel the Mangyongbong-92, which has been anchored at the South Korean eastern port of Mukho since Tuesday after transporting its art troupe to the South.

Seoul's unification ministry said that it has finished consultation with the international community over the issue as it seeks to ensure that the move would not violate sanctions.

"The government is reviewing (whether to) supply fuel to the ship," Baik Tae-hyun, spokesman at Seoul's unification ministry, told a press briefing.

The delivery of refined petroleum products to the North is a tricky issue, as the U.N. Security Council adopted sanctions in December 2017 that include a cap on exports of such goods to the North to 500,000 barrels per year.

The North has reportedly asked Seoul to provide the ferry with the fuel needed to return home. It is not known how much it has requested.

South and North Korea are divided over how much fuel Seoul would provide to the North, without details being revealed.

The ship is expected to return home Saturday when musicians are to move to Seoul ahead of their concert slated for Sunday.

The Samjiyon art troupe traveled to the South by ferry Tuesday to perform in celebration of the PyeongChang Winter Games on a rare trip that involved Seoul temporarily exempting a North Korean ship from its sanctions on sea travel to the South.

This photo, taken Feb. 6, 2018, shows the North Korean ship Mangyongbong-92, which transported the North's art troupe to South Korea for performances in the South. (Yonhap) This photo, taken Feb. 6, 2018, shows the North Korean ship Mangyongbong-92, which transported the North's art troupe to South Korea for performances in the South. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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