North Korea News

01 Jun 2020

Panama to Fine Ships up to $10,000 if They Tamper with Transponders

Illustration; Panama flag raised on the mast of a merchant vessel - Image by Alexander - AdobeStock

Panama's Maritime Authority said it will impose sanctions on vessels, including fines of up to $10,000 and withdrawing its flag from the ship, if they deliberately deactivate, tamper or alter the operation of their tracking transponders."This General Directorate of Merchant Marine will impose sanctions to all those Panamanian flagged vessels that deliberately deactivate, tamper or alter the operation of Long Range Identification and Tracking System or the Automatic Identification System…

27 May 2020

US Sanctions Advisory Raises Hurdles for Global Maritime Industry

© Igor Yu. Groshev/ Adobe Stock

Ship owners and insurers say it may be impossible for the maritime industry to fully comply with the Trump administration’s new guidelines on how to avoid sanctions penalties related to Iran, North Korea and Syria, raising the risk of disruptions in a sector already struggling with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.The advisory issued this month marked the first U.S. sanctions guidance for the global maritime sector, and will test Washington’s ability to clamp down on violations without disrupting an industry that handles 90% of the world’s trade.The final version of the U.S.

28 May 2020

US Maritime Sanctions Advisory: Navigating Choppy Waters

A North Korean-flagged tanker conducts a ship-to-ship transfer with a vessel of unknown nationality in November 2019. (File photo: Japanese Ministry of Defense)

In May 2020, the US Department of State, US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and US Coast Guard issued a joint Sanctions Advisory for the Maritime Industry. The advisory builds on and expands several prior sanctions advisories for the maritime community issued in 2018-19.The advisory is intended as a guidepost to help participants in the maritime sector achieve the desired level of compliance. Most of the guidance is couched in the language of suggestion (e.g., parties “may wish to consider…”), rather than as a mandate.

19 May 2020

Taiwan Says It's Complying with North Korea Sanctions

(File photo: U.S. Department of the Treasury)

Taiwan is complying with international sanctions against North Korea, a senior Taiwanese security official told the United States’ deputy representative for North Korea on Tuesday, having previously been called out for breaking them.Taiwan, claimed by China as its own, is not a member of the United Nations, but says that as a responsible global player it is committed to ensuring sanctions are enforced to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.In 2018, independent U.N. monitors told a U.N.

14 May 2020

Trump Administration Issues Maritime Advisory on Sanctions

© TWEESAK / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration on Thursday issued guidelines to help ship owners and insurers avoid the risks of sanctions penalties, standards that maritime players and a senior State Department official said were modified following months of discussions with industry.The guidelines, known as a Global Maritime Advisory, concern sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Syria. The State Department said it is committed to disrupting sanctions evasion and smuggling of goods, including oil exports from Iran…

20 Apr 2020

North Korea Caught Busting Sanctions in Chinese Waters

A photo from the annual report to the U.N. Security Council by independent experts monitoring the implementation of U.N. sanctions on North Korea shows a North Korean-flagged vessel conducting a ship-to-ship transfer of coal near the Chinese port of Lianyungang with help from a floating crane in this August 20, 2019 photo provided to the U.N. experts by an unidentified U.N. member state. (Photo: United Nations)

On Oct. 10 last year, eight North Korean vessels - several carrying illicit coal shipments - were anchored in Chinese waters off the port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, according to a photo in a U.N. report published online on Friday.That appears to be a lax enforcement by China of U.N. sanctions aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear program under which countries are required to inspect cargo destined to or coming from North Korea that is within their territory or being transported on North Korean-flagged vessels.The annual report to the U.N.

14 Apr 2020

North Korea Test Fires Anti-ship Missiles

North Korea launched multiple short-range anti-ship cruise missiles into the sea and Sukhoi jets fired air-to-surface missiles on Tuesday as part of its ongoing military exercises, South Korea’s military said.The missile tests came on the eve of a national holiday in North Korea to celebrate the birthday of Kim Il Sung, the founder of the country and grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong Un.Launched at around 7 a.m. (2200 GMT), the anti-ship missiles plunged into the sea more than 150 kilometres (93 miles) off the east coast town of Munchon…

04 Mar 2020

North Korea Caught Exporting Sand to China

© Yaniv / Adobe Stock

For several months last year, a steady stream of ships was observed dredging sand in a North Korean bay then transporting it to China, a Washington-based think-tank said on Wednesday.The extraction of sand from North Korea to China would violate a 2017 U.N. Security Council resolution that prohibits North Korea from “supplying, selling, or transferring sand”, the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) said in a report.The group’s researchers tracked the dredging and transport of the sand through commercial satellite imagery and shipping databases.“Between March and August 2019…

03 Jul 2019

U.N. Approves Release of Impounded Vessels

The United Nations has approved the release of two ships impounded by South Korea on suspicion of transferring oil to North Korea as there was no deliberate breach of sanctions, Seoul's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.South Korea seized four vessels to check whether they violated U.N. sanctions by making illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil or coal products to North Korean ships.A U.N. panel monitoring the enforcement of sanctions approved the release of the Hong Kong-flagged Lighthouse Winmore and the South Korean P-Pioneer based on the result of a South Korean investigation that found they had not intended to breach sanctions, South Korean officials said."There was evidence of ship-to-ship transfers but we concluded that it was not deliberate…

02 Jul 2019

South Korea Releases Ships in UN 'sanctions' Case

South Korea has released two ships it had seized on suspicion of transferring oil to North Korea as there was no deliberate breach of U.N. sanctions, Seoul's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.South Korea seized four vessels to check whether they violated U.N. sanctions by making illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil or coal products to North Korean ships.A U.N. panel approved the release of the Hong Kong-flagged Lighthouse Winmore and the South Korean P-Pioneer based on South Korean probe results that they had not intended to breach sanctions, Seoul officials said."There was evidence of ship-to-ship transfers but we concluded that it was not deliberate…

14 May 2019

N.Korea Protests U.S. Ship Seizure

The bulk carrier WISE HONEST (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Sergei Skriabin

North Korea said on Tuesday the seizure of one of its cargo ships by the United States was an illegal act that violated the spirit of a summit between the two countries' leaders, and demanded the return of the vessel without delay.The North's foreign ministry said in a statement that it rejected U.N. Security Council resolutions against it which the United States cited in impounding the vessel, as a violation of its sovereignty."The United States committed an unlawful and outrageous act of dispossessing our cargo ship…

09 May 2019

U.S. seizes 'sanction buster' North Korean Ship

The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the "Wise Honest," was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S. Justice Department officials said.The announcement comes after North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Thursday, its second such test in less than a week and an apparent protest by leader Kim Jong Un after U.S.

22 Mar 2019

US: Russian Ship Suspected of Aiding N.Korea

The U.S. government has named a Russian ship on a list of vessels suspected of providing fuel to Pyongyang, a month after Reuters reported the same ship violated sanctions by carrying out a clandestine transfer to a North Korean tanker.The Treasury Department, which oversees U.S. sanctions, included the Russian vessel, the Tantal, on a new list of "vessels believed to have engaged in ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean tankers."The list was included in updated https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/dprk_vessel_advisory_03212019.pdf guidance on addressing North Korea's illicit shipping practices published by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

22 Mar 2019

USCG Commandant Delivers SOTCG Address

Adm. Karl Schultz delivers the annual SOTCG Address in San Pedro, CA (Image: CREDIT USCG)

The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard delivered his first State of the Coast Guard address Thursday at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach in San Pedro.Speaking from the largest port in the nation, Adm. Karl Schultz highlighted Coast Guard security and marine safety operations, which facilitate $4.6 trillion in annual economic activity.Schultz also recognized the service and sacrifice of Coast Guard men and women deployed around the world ensuring global peace and prosperity, including servicemembers supporting U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command.

03 Jan 2019

Moore Stephens: Leaner, Greener Shipping Will Attract Investment in 2019

Richard Greiner (Photo: Moore Stephens)

Accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says shipping will continue to attract investors in 2019 if it fulfills its ESG (environmental, social and governance) responsibilities.In the latest issue of Bottom Line, the Moore Stephens shipping sector newsletter, Richard Greiner, a partner in the firm’s Shipping & Transport team, says, “It has been suggested that the future is very much like the present, only longer. Should that prove to be the case for the shipping industry…

05 Dec 2018

Interview: Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard

Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard. Photo: JCG

As the Japan Coast Guard celebrates its 70th anniversary, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News offers insights on the current status and future direction of the JCG courtesy of an interview with Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard.*Note: At the time this interview was conducted, Shuichi Iwanami was still Vice Commandant for Operations.Could you please tell us the history and future development of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG)?The JCG, in 2018 celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation. When it was founded, the Japanese waters were in an eclipse period.

23 Jul 2018

'Treasure Ship' Discovery Claim Raises Eyebrows

Underwater wreckage claimed by South Korea's Shinil Group to be the Russian battleship Dmitri Donskoii, which sank in 1905 off Ulleung Island, South Korea. (Photo: Shinil Group)

A South Korean company’s claims that it has discovered the wreck of a Russian warship containing $130 billion in gold “treasure” off South Korea has been met with scepticism from researchers and regulators in Seoul.Shinil Group, which was established last month, said on Tuesday it had discovered the wreck of the Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian armored cruiser built in the 1880s and sunk in 1905 after battling Japanese warships.The company said the ship held 150 trillion won ($130 billion) in gold and it would provide evidence next week to support its claim.

21 Aug 2018

U.S. Sanctions Russian Firms, Vessels Over N. Korea Oil Transfers

The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on two Russian shipping companies and six vessels it said were involved in the transfer of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels in violation of U.N. restrictions.The U.S. Treasury identified the firms as Vladivostok-based shipping companies Primorye Maritime Logistics Co Ltd (Primorye) and Gudzon Shipping Co LLC (Gudzon).It also named six Russian-flagged vessels: Bella, Bogatyr, Neptun, Partizan, Patriot and Sevastopol."Ship-to-ship transfers with North Korea-flagged vessels from Russia or elsewhere of any goods being supplied, sold, or transferred to or from (North Korea) are prohibited under the U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea and are sanctionable under U.S. law," U.S.

18 Jul 2018

US Accuses N.Korea of Fuel Smuggling

© Andreas G. Karelias / Adobe Stock

The United States accused North Korea on Thursday of breaching a U.N. sanctions cap on refined petroleum by making illicit transfers between ships at sea, according to a document seen by Reuters, and demanded an immediate end to all sales of the fuel.The United States submitted the complaint to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee. The charge of a sanctions breach comes as Washington engages North Korea in a bid to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.The North Korea U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.S. accusation.

15 Aug 2018

Stena Blue Sky Bags Safety Achievement Award

Photo: Stena Bulk AB

The award was recently given for the professional seamanship and conduct when Stena Blue Sky effected a rescue operation after spotting a fisherman and recovering him from wreckage between the waters of North Korea and Japan 26th October 2017.“Events of this nature are subject to international laws and for us, acting in accordance with these laws is a matter of course. Nevertheless, it is important that attention is drawn to them – in this case, by the Chamber of Shipping of America.

21 Aug 2018

Russian Firms, Vessels Hit with US Sanctions over N. Korea Oil Transfers

© Igor Savitskiy / MarineTraffic.com

The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on two Russian shipping companies and six vessels it said were involved in the transfer of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels in violation of United Nations. restrictions.Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the sanctions as well as other U.S. steps over alleged hacking, groundless, and promised a response.The U.S. Treasury identified the shipping firms as Vladivostok-based shipping companies Primorye Maritime Logistics Co Ltd (Primorye) and Gudzon Shipping Co LLC (Gudzon).

02 Aug 2018

White House Escalates China Trade Dispute in hopes for Early Solution: Kemp

File Image: CREDIT Hapag Lloyd

The United States has adopted an "escalate to negotiate" strategy towards China, threatening a dramatic hike in tariffs to try to force a resumption of trade talks while the U.S. economy remains strong and as elections approach in November.U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly rejected a plan to levy tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of imports from China and ordered aides to prepare a proposal for tariffs at the higher rate of 25 percent.The levies are…

26 Oct 2018

U.S. Successfully Tests Anti-ballistic Missile Off Coast of Hawaii

The Pentagon on Friday said it had successfully tested its anti-ballistic missile system off the west coast of Hawaii, increasing the capacity to knock down missiles targeting the United States and its allies from rogue states like North Korea and Iran.The intercepting missile, which is being developed by the United States and Japan, was launched from the USS John Finn on Friday after radar on the destroyer detected and tracked the medium-range ballistic target missile.In August the Pentagon was given the mandate to pursue more options for defeating U.S.-bound North Korean missiles by using radar and more missiles to spot and shoot down…

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