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(2nd LD) N.Korea rescinds fuel request for ferry

2018/02/09 20:57

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SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean ship, which carried its art troupe to the South, will return home over the weekend without Seoul's fuel supply, Seoul officials said Friday.

The North rescinded its request that the South refuel the Mangyongbong-92, and the ferry will return home Saturday, Seoul's unification ministry said. The ship has been anchored at the South Korean eastern port of Mukho since it transported the performers to the South on Tuesday.

"As the North recanted the request, there will be no provision of fuel to the ferry," the ministry said.

The ship will go back home after the art troupe leaves for Seoul on Saturday for a concert slated for Sunday, it added.

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 ministry said earlier in the day that it has completed its consultation with the international community over whether to provide fuel to the North Korean ship.

But the two sides reportedly differed over how much fuel Seoul would provide to the North.

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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