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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid