May 10, 2019
A North Korean cargo vessel used to transport coal — in violation of international sanctions against the rogue regime — was seized, the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday, just hours after the hermit kingdom fired two suspected short-range missiles.
The 17,061-ton vessel, called the Wise Honest, is one of North Korea’s largest bulk carriers used to illicitly ship coal from North Korea and deliver heavy machinery to the Hermit Kingdom, officials said. U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said this is the first time a North Korean cargo ship was seized for violating international sanctions.
“This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service,” Assistant Attorney General Demers said in a news release. “North Korea, and the companies that help it evade U.S. and U.N. sanctions, should know that we will use all tools at our disposal — including a civil forfeiture action such as this one or criminal charges — to enforce the sanctions enacted by the U.S. and the global community.”
Berman said Thursday that Kim’s regime was evading sanctions by “concealing” Wise Honest’s origin. The ship was used by Korea Songi Shipping Company between November 2016 and April 2018 to export coal from North Korea in exchange for machinery, court documents stated. Those who worked with the company would allegedly then lie about the origin of the vessel and where the coal came from by listing different countries for its nationality in shipping documentation.
This article was posted: Friday, May 10, 2019 at 4:34 am