South Korea Seizes Hong-Kong Ship Allegedly Transferring Oil To North Korea

| December 29 , 2017 , 15:22 IST

South Korea has seized a ship with Hong Kong registration allegedly transferring oil to a North Korean vessel in violation of the stringent sanctions placed by the United Nations, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said on Friday.  

An official of the foreign ministry said that the Lighthouse Winmore ship deported from the port of Yeosu in South Korea carrying refined oil which was subsequently transferred to a North Korean ship in international waters. Lighthouse Winmore was then seized when it re-entered the Yeosu.

"UN Security Council sanctions prohibit the transfer of anything to a North Korean ship," the official said.

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"This is one of the main ways in which North Korea uses an illegal network to circumvent UN Security Council sanctions," he added.

According to reports, the Lighthouse Winmore was one of the 10 ships that the US this month had asked the United Nations to ban from international ports over its alleged dealings with North Korea.

Due to the harsh sanctions against North Korea, most countries have stopped dealing with the nation, however, China continues to maintain trade relations, despite the condemnations by the US.

In a tweet on Thursday, US President Donald Trump expressed his disappointment in China allowing oil to go into North Korea.

He said, "Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!"

Meanwhile, China has denied reports that its vessels have traded with North Korean ships, with its Foreign Ministry spokeswoman saying earlier this week that Beijing has been "comprehensively, accurately, faithfully and strictly implementing" UN resolutions on North Korea.