The three ships owned by a North Korean firm that have been registered under the Cambodian flag of convenience had been removed from the country’s ship registry a year ago, Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation informed.
The announcement was triggered by media reports that a North Korean ship, identified as Jie Shun, which was flying the Cambodian flag, was seized off Egypt with a huge cache of weapons believed to be originating from North Korea.
The seizure occurred in August when customs agents in Egypt boarded the ship only to discover more than 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades hidden under iron ore, the Washington Post reported.
The country’s government said that it had terminated the contract with the International Ship Registry of Cambodia (ISROC) as a sole and exclusive flag state administration and asked the organization to stop registering the Cambodian-flagged ships in 2015 and close down the ship registration. The ships that had valid registry certificate with Cambodian flag were allowed to sail under the flag until the expiration date, which was due in August 2016.
Any ship claimed to be under the Cambodian flag after this date is considered illegal, the ministry said.
Furthermore, the ministry added that it had informed the Embassy of the Republic of Korea that the said vessels had been removed from the registry in March 2016.
World Maritime News Staff