North Korea News

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.

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…

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).

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.

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.

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…

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.

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 Jun 2018

Tiny Japan Shipping Shares Jump on North Korea Detente Hopes

© Alexey Lesik / Adobe Stock

Shares of small Japanese shippers jumped this week after the historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sparked hopes of news business ties with the reclusive country.Japanese retail investors are snatching up shares of the firms that may benefit from a potential thaw between Tokyo and Pyongyang, even though the Japanese government has been a staunch supporter of "maximum pressure" on North Korea.Shares of Rinko Corp, a marine transportation company…

29 May 2018

Mattis Says US Will Continue Operations in South China Sea

(U.S. Navy photo by Peter Burghart)

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday that the United States would continue to confront what Washington sees as China's militarization of islands in the South China Sea, despite drawing condemnation from Beijing for an operation in the region over the weekend.Reuters first reported that two U.S. Navy warships sailed near South China Sea islands claimed by China on Sunday, even as President Donald Trump seeks Chinese cooperation on North Korea.The operation, known as "freedom of navigation…

29 May 2018

Japan Detects Apparent Chinese Ship Breaking N.Korea Sanctions

Japan on Tuesday said it had detected what appeared to be a Chinese-flagged vessel, 350 km (218 miles) off Shanghai, conducting illegal transfers to a North Korean ship. "Following a comprehensive assessment, the government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned by UNSCR," Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release, referring to U.N. Security Council resolutions. A Japanese P-3 maritime patrol plane detected the vessels, which lay alongside each other connected by hoses, on May 19, with one of the ships flying what seemed like a Chinese flag, it said. China has repeatedly said it is fully enforcing U.N. sanctions against North Korea and it would punish any Chinese company breaking them.

22 May 2018

UN Seeks Traders' Help Enforcing North Korea Sanctions

© Nobilior / Adobe Stock

A U.N. monitoring group wants to enlist the help of the world's biggest oil trading companies to enforce sanctions that cap the amount of crude and related products North Korea can import, the coordinator said.The U.N. Security Council ramped up sanctions last year after North Korea said it had conducted missile tests that put the U.S. mainland in range of its nuclear weapons.Under the restrictions, Pyongyang is limited to importing 4 million barrels of crude and 500,000 barrels…

09 May 2018

Buyers Seek US Waivers to Buy Iranian Oil amid New Sanctions

© nicolagiordano / Adobe Stock

South Korea said on Wednesday it would seek U.S. exemptions to buy Iranian oil, a path many big oil consumers are likely to follow in the wake of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, which will tighten world oil markets and push up prices.Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a key supplier, especially to refiners in Asia.The United States plans to impose new unilateral sanctions after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 which limited Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing joint U.S.-Europe sanctions…

30 Apr 2018

Canada, Australia to Monitor North Korean Ships

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Saturday the country will send a military patrol aircraft to monitor North Korean vessels suspected of transferring prohibited goods in defiance of United Nations sanctions.Canada also plans to deploy patrol aircraft for such activities, and surveillance planes from both countries will be based in the U.S. military’s Kadena air base on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa, the Japanese government said in a separate statement.The…

20 Apr 2018

Trump Rails Against Oil Prices, OPEC Pushes Back

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

U.S. President Donald Trump accused OPEC on Friday of "artificially" boosting oil prices, drawing rebukes from some of the world's top energy exporters."Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea. Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!" Trump wrote on Twitter.It was unclear what triggered the tweet, Trump's first mention of OPEC on social media during his term.U.S. oil prices are near a three-year high…

16 Apr 2018

Japan, China Agree Trade War Will Harm Global Economy

© xy / Adobe Stock

Japan and China agree that a trade war will have serious consequences for the world economy, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Monday after a high-level economic dialogue between the world's third- and second-largest economies. Concern is growing about a trade row between China and the United States in which the two nations have threatened each other with tariffs. Japan has been criticised by U.S. President Donald Trump on trade and been hit with tariffs on steel and aluminum, but it has not yet threatened counter-tariffs.

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