Government Imposes Sanctions on 11 North Korean Ships After 8 Years Due to Nuclear and Missile Support
On the 17th South Korean government imposed independent sanctions on 11 North Korean vessels that smuggled refined oil against the UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against North Korea. It marks the first designation of sanctions on ships in eight years since 2016 by the South Korean government.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the 15th set of independent sanctions under the current government were made on 11 ships used in smuggling refined oil and coal into North Korean ports and dispatching North Korean workers, as well as two individuals and three entities.
All of the 11 ships turned out to have violated the UNSC sanctions resolution against North Korea, engaging in illicit maritime acts such as △ maritime transshipment with North Korean ships △ smuggling refined oil and coal to North Korea △ importing used ships to North Korea.
The 11 blacklisted ships are (include) Nam Daebong, New Kong, Unica, Xing Ming Yang 888, Sublik, Geumya River 1, Kyung Sung 3, Riton, Asa Bong, Gold Star, Athena,
Among them, seven ships had been reported to the expert panel of the North Korean Sanctions Committee (Sanctions Committee), and were designated as UN sanctions targets.
Nam Daebong, New Kong, Unica, Abong 1, Xing Ming Yang 888, and Sublik are reported to have violated the obligation to ‘prohibit the supply, sale, and transfer of petroleum products’ under paragraph 5 of UNSC Resolution 2397 after entering North Korean ports and directly delivering refined oil. Kyung Sung 3 violated the obligation to ‘prohibit the transfer between ships of items supplied, sold, or transferred to or from North Korea’ under paragraph 11 of UNSC Resolution 2375 by participating in illegal maritime transshipment.
The expert panel (also) estimated a report published last September that North Korea had smuggled in 780,000 barrels of refined oil, which is 1.5 times the annual limit, until April of that year.
In the case of New Kong and Unica, the government took the initiative to place independent sanctions for the first time in the world. It is estimated that the oil tanker named Unica had illegally imported oil at least 23 times since 2019, and had made contact with North Korean ships in the western sea off Nampo Port in North Korea in September 2022.
(Suspects include) Park Kyung-ran, a member of Baek Seol Trade, and Min Myung-hak, president of Lee Sang Trade, Park Kyung-ran is suspected of having transferred used ships and refined oil into North Korea, and Min Myung-hak is accused of having been involved in illegal maritime transshipment activities to North Korea and dispatching North Korean workers.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out, “North Korea has been developing nuclear weapons and missiles by procuring materials and funds through various illegal activities that evade UNSC sanctions, such as fuel transshipment between ships at sea and smuggling coal.”
The Ministry further explained, “Following the large-scale sanctions on targets involved in illegal activities such as cyber/IT labor dispatch, arms trade, and financial transactions, we have built a comprehensive sanctions network that includes the maritime sector.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs then concluded, saying “This shows the strong will of our government to make North Korea give up illegal nuclear and missile development by blocking its continuous illegal procurement of funds and materials through maritime intermediaries.”