UN Bans Four Ships over N.Korea Coal, US Mulls Four More

Violet Powell
October 12, 2017

Four ships identified as carrying goods banned by united nations resolutions, are prohibited from entering any ports in the world, announced on Monday Hugh Griffiths, co-ordinator of the expert folder of north korea. The listed ships are reportedly the "Petrel 8", "Hao Fan 6", "Tong San 2" and "Jie Shun".

Griffiths did not disclose what the ships are suspected of carrying, but confirmed they were carrying "prohibited items".

The vessels are the first to be designated under stepped-up sanctions imposed on North Korea by the 15-member council in August and September over Pyongyang's sixth and largest nuclear test and two long-range ballistic missile launches.

The port bans were enacted under UN Security Council Resolution 2375, which was passed last month after North Korea test-fired a missile that overflew Japan. A North Korean diplomat attended the hour-long session. The MarineTraffic website says the first three fly the flags of Comoros, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and North Korea.

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He also pointed to the significance of implementing a port ban, rather than an assets freeze or travel ban - meaning that the vessels "are banned from all ports".

In an October 3 note to the Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee, seen by Reuters, the United States said it was withdrawing four ships it had proposed for listing - the South Korean-flagged Xin Shen Hai, the Palau-flagged East Glory 7, the Panama-flagged Kai Xiang and Cheng Hong. In addition to lead, those goods are estimated to total more than $1 billion - about one-third of the country's estimated US$3 billion in exports in 2016. In November previous year, the Security Council capped North Korean coal exports and then in August imposed a complete ban.

Under the terms of the most recent United Nations resolution, North Korea is not allowed to import natural gas, liquids and condensates, nor is it allowed to export textiles.

Griffiths told United Nations diplomats that the panel of experts is getting reports that the DPRK "is continuing its attempts to export coal" in violation of United Nations sanctions.

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