Russian Federation denies North Korea sanctions breach claims

Russian Federation denies North Korea sanctions breach claims

Its crew - mostly from Myanmar and China - were being questioned by the customs office and the intelligence agency.

Four ships - three North Korean vessels and a Palau-flagged oil tanker - were blocked from worldwide ports by the UN Security Council on Thursday over suspicions of carrying or transporting goods banned by sanctions targeting Pyongyang's weapons ambitions, according to the final list adopted by the world body.

It is the second known vessel under probe by South Korea on suspicions of ship-to-ship supplies of petroleum products to North Korea, banned under the worldwide sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs. Another oil tanker was seized in South Korea for providing oil to North Korea, breaching United Nations sanctions.

The ship, seized at Yeosu Port on November 24, is suspected of transferring 600 tons of refined petroleum to a North Korean ship named Samjong No. 2.

Just last week South Korea announced it had seized the Lighthouse Winmore, a Hong Kong-registered ship in late November, that it claims had transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in worldwide waters in violation of United Nations sanctions. One was a North Korean vessel, but the Treasury didn't identify where the other ship was from.

Russian tankers have also breached sanctions transferring petrochemicals product to North Korean vessels in October and November, unidentified security sources told Reuters on Saturday, accusations Russia's foreign ministry has strongly denied.

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The Hong Kong government said in a statement Friday it had noted media reports that the Lighthouse Winmore had been seized.

The seizing of the ships is part of ongoing efforts to implement U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea.

"The vessels are smuggling Russian fuel from Russian Far Eastern ports to North Korea".

Four ships - three North Korean vessels and a Palau-flagged oil tanker - were blocked from global ports by the UN Security Council on Thursday on suspicion of carrying or transporting goods banned by the sanctions.

The US had asked the Security Council to blacklist all 10 vessels, but China objected to the proposal, diplomats said, and only agreed to blacklist four ships on Thursday.

President Donald Trump commented on the images in a tweet, expressing disappointment in China being "caught RED HANDED" allowing oil transfers to North Korea. "This is not how a US president should behave", read the opinion piece.

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