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Seoul holds second ship over 'oil transfers' to North Korea

Seoul holds second ship over 'oil transfers' to North Korea

Another oil tanker was seized in South Korea for providing oil to North Korea, breaching United Nations sanctions.

Officials seized the KOTI, a Panamanian-flagged vessel, after it was suspected of illegally selling oil to North Korea, maritime authorities told South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

The vessel, named KOTI, was seized at Pyeongtaek-Dangjin port, on the west coast south of Incheon, an official told Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information.

South Korean authorities have seized a Panama-flagged vessel suspected of transferring oil products to North Korea in violation of global sanctions, a customs official said Sunday.

Taipei said the Billions Bunker Group is not incorporated in Taiwan but in the Marshall Islands, and that it would "continue to fully comply" with United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

Results of the investigation will be reported to the UN Security Council's sanctions committee, foreign ministry officials said.

The vessel is suspected of transferring 600 tonnes of oil to the North Korean tanker Sam Jong 2 in global waters on October 19.

The South Korean official said on Friday that the Lightouse Winmore, chartered by a Taiwanese company and carrying oil products from South Korea, had transferred part of its cargo to a North Korean ship on 19 October. The Lighthouse Winmore was seized upon re-entering Yeosu on November 24, foreign ministry officials told CNN.

The statement did not address whether or not Russian ships had transferred the fuel.

The Lighthouse Winmore is one of the 10 ships proposed to be blacklisted.

Both China and Russian Federation are the DPRK's long-standing energy patrons, as North Korea has no domestic oil and gas production of its own.

The Hong Kong government said in a statement Friday it had noted media reports that the Lighthouse Winmore had been seized.

The Lighthouse Winmore was one of 10 ships the United States asked the United Nations to ban from worldwide ports this month over its alleged dealings with North Korea, according to Reuters. One resolution approved in September prohibited ship-to-ship transfers, while another resolution approved last week gives member states the authority to "seize, inspect, freeze and impound" any vessel found to be providing oil through ship-to-ship transfers, smuggling coal or other sanctioned goods to North Korea.

CNN's Taehoon Lee reported from in Seoul, Lauren Said-Moorhouse wrote from London while Yuli Yang and James Griffiths contributed from Hong Kong. It is Panamanian flagged.


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