Four North Korea cargo ships removed from UN blacklist
The United Nations has reportedly lifted sanctions on four container ships previously blacklisted for links to illegal arms trade by Pyongyang.
The US permanent mission to the UN informed several US embassies of the decision via a diplomatic cable issued on February 16, Reuters quoted unnamed officials as saying on Tuesday.
The ships were among 31 vessels banned by UN Security Council (UNSC) on March 2, because of ties to Ocean Maritime Management (OMM), a North Korean shipping firm suspected of transporting arms and other illicit goods for the secretive state.
The cable showed talks between American and Chinese officials in the lead up to the bans removal, with Beijing securing assurances that the vessels would not be operated by North Korean crews.
“We discovered that they are not OMM ships,” said Liu Jieyi, the Chinese ambassador to the UN.
Among the four ships was the Jin Teng, a cargo ship detained by the Philippines shortly after the sanctions took effect.
Reacting to the report, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the UN lifting of sanctions on the ships are in line with Security Council sanctions committee rules.