Seoul: South Korea has seized a Hong Kong-registered ship that allegedly transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in violation of UN sanctions, the Foreign Ministry announced here on Friday.
A ministry official told CNN that the Lighthouse Winmore deported from the port of Yeosu in South Korea carrying refined oil which was then transferred to a North Korean ship in international waters.
“UN Security Council sanctions prohibit the transfer of anything to a North Korean ship,” the official said, adding the Lighthouse Winmore was seized when it re-entered Yeosu on November 24.
He did not say when the transfer occurred, CNN reported.
“This is one of the main ways in which North Korea uses an illegal network to circumvent UN Security Council sanctions,” the official said.
According to Hong Kong media, the Lighthouse Winmore was one of the 10 ships the US asked the UN to ban from international ports this month over its alleged dealings with North Korea.
The seizure comes after US President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday he was “very disappointed” in China for allegedly selling oil to North Korea, saying Beijing had been “caught red handed” after news reports accused Chinese ships of performing ship-to-ship transfers of oil and coal on the high seas.
China has denied its vessels have traded with North Korean ships, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying saying this week Beijing has been “comprehensively, accurately, faithfully and strictly implementing” UN resolutions on North Korea.