First North Korean Vessel Stopped in the Philippines

The first North Korean cargo vessel was inspected in the Philippines by coast guard officials since the United Nations Security Council adopted the US-led resolution to impose new and tighten existing sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Associated Press informs.

The 1997-built cargo vessel MV Jin Teng, which docked at the Olongapo port, was inspected in Subic Bay after it arrived from Balembang, Indonesia on March 3.

The vessel, which was carrying palm kernel expeller, was boarded by five coast guard personnel and two explosive detection dogs who found that there were no suspicious materials aboard, the Associated Press cited one of the officials as saying. However, the ship was stopped in the Philippines due to safety issues, which need to be fixed before the ship departs for Zhanjiang port in China.

The inspection was ordered by the Manila coast guard after the vessel was included on a list of 31 ships covered by severer sanctions against North Korea.

The vessel’s cargo is currently being offloaded, and the 6,830 dwt MV Jin Teng will be subjected to another inspection before it continues its journey.

Under the new measures, all cargo going to and from the DPRK by sea or air will be inspected and any vessel suspected of carrying forbidden items will be denied entry into port.

On Wednesday the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the sanctions, which were imposed due to the North Korea’s ongoing nuclear program and the country’s latest missile launch.

Furthermore, the stronger sanctions emerged amid recent UN Security Council panel’s report on Korean shipping companies’ continuous dodging of US-imposed sanctions deeming them inefficient.

World Maritime News Staff

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