clear
Wednesday August 15th, 2018 4:55AM

South Korea: North Korean coal entered its ports illegally

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea said a total of 35,000 tons of North Korean coal and pig iron worth $5.8 million illegally entered its ports last year, in possible violations of UN sanctions.

Reporting on preliminary results from a 10-month investigation, the Korea Customs Service said Friday it is seeking prosecutions of three local companies and their executives for smuggling or forging documents to say North Korean mineral resources came from Russia.

They imported North Korean coal or pig iron in seven separate cases between April and October last year to five South Korean ports, on the Jin Ao, Rich Vigor, Shining Rich and other vessels, the customs office said.

The coal originated from the North Korean ports of Wonsan, Chongjin, Daean and Songlim and were transshipped via the Russian ports of Kholmsk and Vladivostok.

Officials said they were also looking into whether any of the 14 vessels that transported North Korean coal violated sanctions banning such shipments. The United Nations banned North Korean mineral exports, including coal, starting in August 2017. Sales of its mineral resources is a cash mainstay for North Korea. The bulk of revenue from those exports go to state-owned companies and help finance development of its missiles.

The finding comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in's administration pursues detente with the North. Hopes are high for economic cooperation and investment in North Korea once sanctions are lifted. Despite burgeoning diplomatic efforts to disarm North Korea, the international community has maintained maximum pressure on the North. North Korea has chafed at U.S. insistence that no sanctions be eased until Pyongyang's disarms its nuclear weapons.

South Korea started looking into allegations of North Korean coal imports back in October and the government was criticized over how long it was taking to investigate. The customs officials said analyzing a huge volume of documents and seeking help from Russian customs officials slowed progress in the investigation.

Determining if sanctions banning exports or North Korean mineral resources were violated may take time.

"In order to sanction the vessels, we need reasonable evidence that they were involved in the activities banned by the UN Security Council," Roh Suk-hwan, deputy commissioner of Korea Customs Service, said in a televised press conference. "We will likely discuss the timing of the UN Security Council's resolutions against North Korea, the nationality of ships and other issues."

The Security Council first imposed sanctions on North Korea after its first nuclear test in 2006. A recent report to the Security Council found Pyongyang has been violating UN sanctions with clandestine shipments of coal, oil and military equipment.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge set to sentence men in deadly Oakland warehouse fire
Two men who accepted a plea deal in exchange for each pleading no contest to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in a California warehouse fire will likely be released from prison after serving just half their sentences
2:15AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Firefighters battle to curb wildfire before winds return
Firefighters are working to curb a wildfire threatening thousands of homes in the foothills south of Los Angeles before gusty winds can return to drive its explosive growth
2:03AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Several games see players demonstrate during national anthem
Player demonstrations took place during the national anthem at several early NFL preseason games
1:43AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
APNewsBreak: Indiana candidate's brand markets Chinese parts
Indiana Senate candidate Mike Braun rails against foreign outsourcing on the campaign trail, even as his own company continues to sell its trademarked brand of auto accessories, many of which are made in China
12:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
Appeals court tells EPA to stop sales of harmful pesticide
The Environmental Protection Agency has been ordered to stop sales of a widely used pesticide within two months
12:17AM ( 2 hours ago )
Serving on corporate board while in Congress? That could end
Congressman Chris Collins' indictment on insider trading charges is drawing attention to the fact that members of Congress are not prohibited from serving on corporate boards as long as they don't receive compensation for doing so
12:07AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Firefighters battle to curb wildfire before winds return
Firefighters are working to curb a wildfire threatening thousands of homes in the foothills south of Los Angeles before gusty winds can return to drive its explosive growth
2:03AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Several games see players demonstrate during national anthem
Player demonstrations took place during the national anthem at several early NFL preseason games
1:43AM ( 41 minutes ago )
M's jump on Verlander early in 8-6 win over Astros
Mitch Haniger homered while Seattle jumped on Justin Verlander for six runs in two innings, and the Mariners beat the Houston Astros 8-6
1:26AM ( 57 minutes ago )
Indonesian president picks cleric as running mate in 2019
Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has formally registered as a candidate in 2019 elections and has chosen a conservative Islamic cleric as his running mate
1:15AM ( 1 hour ago )
Asian shares slip despite upbeat Japanese economic data
Shares fall in Asia despite upbeat Japanese data showing economy resumed expansion in the last quarter
1:12AM ( 1 hour ago )