S. Korea bans port entry of four foreign cargo ships

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-08-13 08:47 Updated : 2018-08-13 08:47
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Yonhap News Photo]

SEOUL -- Four foreign cargo ships have been banned from entering South Korean ports for violating United Nations sanctions that ban the shipment of North Korean mineral resources.

The four ships included the Belize-flagged Shining Rich, the Belize-flagged Jin Long, the Sierra Leone-registered Rich Glory and the Panama-registered Sky Angel, which were used to carry banned North Korean coal and other mineral resources into South Korea.

The vessels were banned from entering South Korean ports as of last Saturday, according to the South's foreign ministry. The move came after three unidentified South Korean companies were found to have imported North Korean coal and pig iron last year through a Russian port, using forged documents or other illegal means,

The Korea Customs Office (KCS) said last week that North Korean coal and pig iron worth a total of 6.6 billion won ($5.87 million) were brought into South Korea seven times from April through October last year. Three men and three business entities were referred to state prosecutors for indictment.

The importers were accused of trans-shipping mineral resources at a Russian port by fabricating the country of origin, supporting allegations that Russia has served as a transit hub for illicit North Korean coal exports. 
Mineral resources have been a key source of hard currency for the cash-strapped North. In return for denuclearization, Pyongyang wants the international community to ease sanctions, but the United States and its allies were cautious.