Russian Federation caught smuggling MISSILE FUEL into North Korea

Russian Federation caught smuggling MISSILE FUEL into North Korea

Russian Federation caught smuggling MISSILE FUEL into North Korea

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.

Four ships - three North Korean vessels and a Palau-flagged oil tanker - were blocked from global ports by the UN Security Council on Thursday over suspicions of carrying or transporting goods banned by sanctions targeting Pyongyang's weapons ambitions, according to the final list adopted by the world body.

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.

UNSC Resolution 2375, adopted in September, bans member countries from ship-to-ship transfers of any goods for North Korea. The South Korean government announced Friday that it briefly seized and inspected a Hong Kong-registered ship in November for transferring oil products to a North Korean vessel. The Lighthouse Winmore was seized upon re-entering Yeosu on November 24, foreign ministry officials told CNN.

Even though the Sam Jong 2 was not among the four banned vessels, it appears on a list of six other ships suspected of transporting illicit cargo, along with the Lighthouse Winmore.

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The U.S. Treasury Department released satellite images of two ships reportedly making an illegal transfer the same day. It is unclear when exactly KOTI was seized, but customs officials decided on December 21 to deny the ship permission to leave the port, a local maritime official told South Korean news agency Yonhap.

About a week ago, a ban on almost 90 percent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea was imposed by the United Nations- a decision imposed on Pyongyang to stop it from furthering its nuclear programme.

The council has unanimously approved several rounds of sanctions against North Korea over its missile tests and nuclear programme, including a tough new United Nations resolution earlier this month.

"The vessels are smuggling Russian fuel from Russian Far Eastern ports to North Korea". It is Panamanian flagged.

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