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Philippines impounds N. Korean ship under UN sanctions
  |Wed, 09 March 2016 12:00|Deplomacy| Page Views : 322



  The Philippines said on Monday it had impounded a North Korean ship, becoming the first country to enforce tough new sanctions imposed on the state last week.

Despite flying a Sierra Leone flag, the Jin Teng was seized on Monday on suspicions the vessel was operated by a North Korean shipping group that had been blacklisted by the UN and faced an asset freeze.

This is in compliance with the UN Security Council resolution that calls for sanctions,” said Charles Jose, a spokesperson for the Philippine foreign ministry. “The most important thing is to impound the vessel so it cannot engage in economic activity that could benefit North Korea.”

The UN Security Council last week voted unanimously to introduce new sanctions on North Korea, including compulsory inspections of cargo entering and leaving the country, in response to Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test and a long-range rocket launch earlier this year.

Manila’s actions add to tensions in the region. Last week North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the country’s nuclear weapons to be placed on standby in protest against the UN sanctions.

South Korea planned to announce its own sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday to follow up the UN Security Council resolution. Under those sanctions, vessels that had previously called at a North Korean port would be banned from entering South Korean ports, according to Seoul’s state-run Yonhap News, in a blow to North Korea’s external trade.

Apart from the UN resolution, Seoul would also impose financial sanctions on dozens of individuals and institutions linked to North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction. A three-way logistics project that transports Russian coal to South Korea through a North Korean port would also likely be scrapped, Yonhap said.

The impounded vessel, moored north-west of Manila in Subic Bay, was believed by the Philippines to be operated by Ocean Maritime Management.

OMM has faced an asset freeze since 2014, when it was blacklisted by the UN for operating the Chong Chon Gang, a ship detained the previous year by Panama when it was en route to Cuba carrying arms including two jet fighters concealed under thousands of bags of sugar.

OMM has continued to operate through multiple front companies and representative offices to evade sanctions, according to the US government.

The Philippines coast guard conducted two investigations of the Jin Teng, which was carrying palm kernels from Indonesia. Mr Jose added that nothing “that could be used for North Korea’s nuclear programme” had been found on board.

The crew, which includes 24 North Koreans, will be repatriated once investigations are complete.

Manila’s actions have raised questions about whether other Southeast Asian nations will follow suit and rigorously enforce the new sanctions, which could have economic consequences for nations with large shipping industries.

“The Philippines is a maritime nation but the volume of trade passing through wouldn’t be as great as Singapore or Hong Kong, so there might be less commercial impact,” said Euan Graham, director of the international security program at Australia’s Lowy Institute. “There is always a tension between security and economic efficiency of a port.”

Security analysts also warn that North Korea has historically used loyal diaspora communities to facilitate illegal activities, particularly in China.

Avantika Chilkoti


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PUTIN goes to WAR against ISIS: Stop dithering and FIGHT Russian leader tells West (390)

What ASEAN Can Teach the World About Surviving a Financial Crisis. (424)

What to Read on Xi Jinping s US Visit (381)

Thailand s Military Junta is Clueless about Economic Policy. (409)

What Will The Xi-Obama Summit Really Deliver? (382)

India s Defense FDI Limit Will Hinder Technology Transfer: US Official (436)

The Truth About US Freedom of Navigation Patrols in the South China Sea. (459)

Russian-German relations A renewed dialogue? (431)

Tolerance levels & more (427)

China Myanmar Talk Border Security at Military Consultation (425)

Amid Ongoing India-Pakistan Clashes Is Diplomacy Possible? (351)

The BRICS and the West Partners or rivals? (421)

Good News Global Food Policy Report Strikes Optimistic Tone (362)

How Washington Can Manage Sustainable Strategic Competition With China (411)

How Do Indians Feel About Narendra Modi s Handling of Foreign Policy? (408)

Will Putin Exchange Donbass for Syria? (309)

Britain s Labor Party could be ready to change the nation s Russia policy (396)

China South America and Regional Integration (379)

The paradox of the Minsk Agreements (433)

Hidden hunger is a global killer (421)

The Chinese Cyber Threat in the South China Sea (406)

The Real Significance of the Japan-Vietnam Strategic Partnership. (324)

India and Sri Lanka Vow to Increase Security and Economic Cooperation (377)

China or Iran Who Is the Bigger Threat to U.S. Airpower? (420)

West vs. Russia Media War Heating Up (355)

Becoming the Zero Hunger generation Achieving food security for all (387)

Qatari troops join fight against Houthi rebels (279)

Evaluating the US-India Strategic Agenda (377)

Marine life plummets and food security at risk (414)

China Iran Predict Closer Ties Thanks to Nuclear Deal (392)

Iran Nuclear Deal Lands In the Middle of 2016 Debate (321)

Myanmar Shan Villagers and the Salween Dam Fight. (412)

Anti-Submarine Operations in the Indian Ocean (417)

Improving Women s Rights A Step Toward Global Food Security (319)

Europe s security situation significantly worsened last year (331)

US China Hold Cyber Talks Before Xi s Visit (388)

Nepal: Terai Agitation And The Constitution Making Proces (407)

Investors Are Grabbing a Japan-Size Chunk of the Developing World for Food and Water (392)

Can the US Marines Help Build Indonesia s Amphibious Capabilities? (241)

India-Egypt Relationship: Looking for a new Momentum (333)

Amid Shifting Geopolitical Dynamics India Plays Hard Ball in Afghanistan (364)

Europe s refugee crisis explained (390)

Philippines Australia to Hold Joint Military Exercises. (386)

The Refugee Crisis Isn t a European Problem (413)

Trash or treasure? Repurposing would-be wasted food to feed the hungry and create jobs (431)

Cambodia s Montagnard Problem. (409)

Australia to Bomb Syria? (334)

Is India s APEC Membership on the Table at this Year s Summit? (335)

The solution to this refugee crisis? A revised EU treaty (414)

India and Food Safety (424)

What Thailand s Rejected Constitution Means. (400)

Without ensuring universal access to water there can be no food security (411)

Russia And China Expanding And Cooperating Militarily (350)

Australia Wants to Join India US and Japan in Naval Exercises- Defense Minister (423)

The Problems Foreign Powers Find In The Balkans (410)

Singapore s Impressive Food Security (417)

Afghanistan s Looming Crisis (406)

Exclusive Who s Really Behind Thailand s Erawan Shrine Bomb Blast? (445)

From a Unipolar to a Bipolar Superpower System The Future of the Global Power Dynamic (446)

A Balancing Act;Food for the Hungry Fuel for Your Car (403)

Russia Has a China Problem Too (345)

NATO vs. Russia War Could Begin Today Or Tomorrow (426)

India and Seychelles Strengthen Ties Around Maritime Security Economic Cooperation (418)

Thailand s Navy to Get Boost with New Patrol Vessels. (424)

Global Food Security and the Missed Message of Milan s Expo 2015 (408)

What Now for China s Afghanistan Strategy? (421)

Adrift in ASEAN Tackling Southeast Asia s Migration Challenge. (336)

Putin Says Russia-China Relations At Historic Peak (417)

Australia s Disastrous Asylum Seeker Deal. (405)

A Cold Summer for China and Russia? (340)

Peace is back off the agenda (403)

Iran Nuclear Deal Gains Momentum With Endorsements of Four House Democrats (398)

Philippines Asks for US Military Assistance in South China Sea. (457)

Russia Exploits Obama’s Weaknesses To Destroy US Global Dominance (413)

Growing doubts over GMO safety a scientist s experience (430)

Rethinking the Obama-Xi Summit (429)

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