Philip­pines stops first N Korean ship un­der UN sanc­tions

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

The Philip­pines is hold­ing a North Korean-con­trolled cargo ves­sel for in­spec­tion days af­ter the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil passed a new round of sanc­tions to pun­ish the govern­ment in Py­ongyang for a fourth nu­clear test and a rocket launch.

The de­ci­sion to stop the Jin Teng from leav­ing the Su­bic port, north of Manila, will be re­ported to the UN, which may send a team to in­spect the 6,830- ton ship, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Un­der­sec­re­tary Manolo Que­zon said in a ra­dio briefing Satur­day. Que­zon said the crew will be de­ported in ac­cor­dance with the new se­cu­rity coun­cil res­o­lu­tion, which re­quires in­spec­tion of all cargo leav­ing North Korea.

"As a mem­ber of the UN, we have an obli­ga­tion to im­ple­ment the sanc­tions," Que­zon said. Un­der the UN res­o­lu­tion, North Korean as­sets are sub­ject to a freeze by UN mem­ber states and this means that au­thor­i­ties must im­pound the ship, Que­zon said. The Philip­pine coast guard had in­spected the ship on Fri­day and said it tested neg­a­tive for weapons of mass de­struc­tion.

The Philip­pines' ac­tion marks the first case of UN sanc­tions be­ing en­forced against North Korean ships since the se­cu­rity coun­cil unan­i­mously passed the res­o­lu­tion on Wed­nes­day, which lists 31 ves­sels as

en­ter­ing

or "eco­nomic re­sources con­trolled or op­er­ated" by a North Korean firm. In 2013, Pana­ma­nian au­thor­i­ties seized a North Korean ship headed for Cuba and found dis­as­sem­bled MiG- 27 fighter jets, Soviet-era radar sys­tems and mu­ni­tions un­der bags of sugar.

The res­o­lu­tion lim­its or bans North Korea's ex­ports of cer­tain min­eral re­sources, a key source of hard cur­rency for Kim Jong Un's regime, as well as im­ports of small arms. It also bans fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions from open­ing new branches or ac­counts in the coun­try and black­lists a num­ber of North Kore­ans, in­clud­ing of­fi­cials ac­tive in Iran, Syria and Viet­nam. The res­o­lu­tion lists the Jin Teng as a ship con­trolled by North Korea.

North Korea on Fri­day threat­ened "strong and mer­ci­less phys­i­cal" ac­tions against the U.S. and other na­tions over the res­o­lu­tion. Ear­lier it had fired a set of pro­jec­tiles into its east­ern wa­ters and said it would con­tinue to bol­ster its nu­clear arms ca­pa­bil­i­ties. It has yet to com­ment on the case of the Jin Teng.

North Korea con­ducted its fourth nu­clear test on Jan. 6 and fol­lowed it up weeks later with a long-range rocket launch, which the UN views as a test of a bal­lis­tic mis­sile that could even­tu­ally carry a nu­clear war­head. China, which re­mains North Korea's only ma­jor ally and holds the key to the suc­cess of sanc­tions, has backed the lat­est res­o­lu­tion.

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