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North Korean Ship Impounded in Philippines Port

  • VOA News

FILE - In this March 4, 2016 file photo, crewmen of the North Korean cargo vessel Jin Teng stand on the middle of the deck as it unloads its cargo while docked at Subic Bay, in Zambales province, northwest of Manila, Philippines.

FILE - In this March 4, 2016 file photo, crewmen of the North Korean cargo vessel Jin Teng stand on the middle of the deck as it unloads its cargo while docked at Subic Bay, in Zambales province, northwest of Manila, Philippines.

The Philippines government says it has impounded a North Korean cargo ship in response to the new U.N. sanctions that went into effect this past week requiring inspections of all North Korean vessels in foreign ports.

The MV Jin Teng sailed into Subic Bay Thursday where inspectors said they found no suspicious cargo, but a number of safety violations that must be corrected before the ship can leave port.

The ship had come from an Indonesian port and was headed next to China. But now, Philippines presidential spokesman Manolo Quezon says the ship will not be allowed to leave port as scheduled, and the crew will be deported.

New toughest sanctions

This is the first known case of the new sanctions' impact on North Korean trade in the toughest measures instituted to date. The measures require inspections of all North Korean cargo entering or leaving the country by air or sea, and a ban on all sales or transfers of light arms or weapons to Pyongyang.

The violations aboard the 6,830-ton vessel included such items as missing or damaged equipment. Philippines authorities said there were no problems so far with the ship's cargo, which was reported as palm kernels.

On Thursday, North Korea fired six short-range missiles off its eastern coast, according to Seoul's Defense Ministry, which said the projectiles flew up to 150 kilometers before landing in the sea.

The North Korean news agency also quoted Kim on Friday threatening to carry out "a preemptive attack" on North Korea's enemies.

North Korea often threatens nuclear strikes during times of elevated tensions. But experts question whether the North has the ability to place its nuclear weapons onto long-range missiles.

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