News / Middle East

N. Korea Denies Role in Oil Tanker at Rebel-Held Libya Port

A North Korean-flagged tanker is docked at the Es Sider export terminal in Ras Lanuf, Libya, March 8, 2014.
A North Korean-flagged tanker is docked at the Es Sider export terminal in Ras Lanuf, Libya, March 8, 2014.
Reuters
North Korea on Thursday denied any responsibility for an oil tanker that loaded crude from a Libyan rebel-held port and fled the OPEC member state's attempt to seize it, saying the vessel that carried its flag was linked to an Egyptian firm.
 
The incident marked the first sale of Libyan crude bypassing the government and was a huge humiliation for Tripoli as it struggled to rein in armed militias who helped oust dictator Moammer Gadhafi in 2011 but want to grab power and oil revenues.
 
Libya's parliament ousted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan on Tuesday after rebels loaded crude at Es Sider terminal onto the North Korean-flagged tanker that later fled naval forces amid reports of a gunfight as it sailed off along Libya's eastern Mediterranean coast.
 
It was unclear where the tanker had planned to sail. The North Korean flag is considered a flag of convenience, which is used to keep the ownership secret.
 
North Korea said the tanker violated its laws and a contract with the Alexandria-based company by carrying contraband cargo. It said it had notified Libya and the International Maritime Organization that it had severed all association with the ship.
 
“Therefore, the ship has nothing to do with the DPRK at present and it has no responsibility whatsoever as regards the ship,” the North's Maritime Administration said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
 
DPRK is short for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
 
The agency said it had temporarily allowed the Egyptian firm Golden East Logistics to use its flag under a six-month contract signed in late February. It said the firm ignored its demand to leave the rebel-held Libyan port without loading oil.
 
Contacted by Reuters, Golden East Logistics said it had been responsible for the vessel's certification until its North Korean flag was canceled earlier this week but was not the operator and had no knowledge of its cargo, whereabouts or ultimate destination.
 
“Our company only represents the certification management and nothing else and we have no relation, from near or far, to the operation of the said vessel nor its commercial management nor the undertaking of any agreements regarding its cargoes,” Golden East said in an emailed statement.
 
It was unusual for an oil tanker flagged in secretive North Korea to operate in the Mediterranean, shipping sources said. It had changed ownership in the past few weeks, a source said.
 
It was not clear what flag the vessel was now carrying and its tracking device appeared to be switched off.
 
Western diplomats worry the conflict over oil might dismember Libya as rebels demand autonomy for the east, which was neglected under Gadhafi as he concentrated power and wealth in Tripoli as well as his home region of Sirte.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More