News / Asia

UN Blacklists Operator of North Korean Ship Seized With Soviet-era Arms

North Korean sailors stand on the deck of the North Korean-flagged cargo ship Chong Chon Gang in Sherman Bay near Colon City, Panama, February 12, 2014.
North Korean sailors stand on the deck of the North Korean-flagged cargo ship Chong Chon Gang in Sherman Bay near Colon City, Panama, February 12, 2014.
Reuters

A U.N. Security Council committee on Monday blacklisted the operator of a North Korean ship, which was seized near the Panama Canal last year for smuggling Soviet-era arms, and raised concerns about Cuba's military cooperation with Pyongyang.

The North Korea (DPRK) sanctions committee designated Ocean Maritime Management, which operated the Chong Chon Gang, the ship detained a year ago carrying arms, including two MiG-21 jet fighters, under thousands of tons of sugar.

The company is now subject to an international asset freeze and travel ban.

North Korea is under an array of United Nations and U.S. and other countries' sanctions for nuclear and ballistic missile tests since 2006 in defiance of global demands to stop.

“Ocean Maritime Management Company, Ltd (OMM), played a key role in arranging the shipment of the concealed cargo of arms and related materiel,” the committee said in an implementation assistance notice.

“The concealment of the aforementioned items demonstrates intent to evade U.N. sanctions, and is consistent with previous attempts by the DPRK to transfer arms and related materiel through similar tactics in contravention of Security Council prohibitions,” the committee said.

Cuba's response

After the weapons were discovered on the Chong Chon Gang, Cuba acknowledged it was sending “obsolete” Soviet-era weapons to be repaired in North Korea and then returned to Cuba.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, described the Chong Chon Gang incident as “a cynical, outrageous and illegal attempt by Cuba and North Korea to circumvent United Nations sanctions.”

She said the Security Council committee had “uncovered irrefutable facts that clearly prove Cuba and the DPRK's intentions to violate sanctions by employing highly sophisticated deception and obfuscation techniques.”

Powers said that imposing a global asset freeze on Ocean Maritime Management means that the company, which is headquartered in Pyongyang, will no longer be able to operate internationally.

A U.N. report issued in March said North Korea has developed sophisticated ways to circumvent United Nations sanctions, including the suspected use of its embassies abroad to facilitate an illegal trade in weapons.

The Security Council committee said on Monday that investigation found indications that North Korean officials in Havana helped make arrangements for the Chong Chon Gang shipment.

“The committee encourages states to continue to exercise enhanced vigilance over DPRK diplomatic personnel,” it said.

Concerned by cooperation

The committee said it was concerned the military cooperation between Cuba and North Korea violated U.N. resolutions, which “prohibit the transfer from the DPRK by its nationals or from its territory of advice, services or assistance related to the maintenance or use of prohibited arms and related materiel.”

“This prohibition covers many activities including repair, diagnosis, monitoring, physical and chemical tests, and any related services for such items,” the committee said.

A Panamanian court on Friday ordered the release of the Chong Chon Gang's three North Korean officers. Thirty-two North Korean sailors and the ship were released by Panama in February.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid