United Nations bans ships for violating N Korea sanctions

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The United Nations has banned four ships from visiting any global port, after they were found violating sanctions imposed on North Korea.

"This is the first time in United Nations history that four ships have been designated by the 1718 committee" after the latest sanctions resolution against North Korea was adopted on September 11, panel coordinator Hugh Griffiths told reporters.

According to a source, the listed ships were the Petrel 8, Hao Fan 6, Tong San 2 and Jie Shun.

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He was referring to the committee by its official name after resolution 1718 - the first sanctions measure that was imposed on North Korea following its first underground nuclear test in 2006. The vessels were said to have transported coal, seafood and iron ore, which are exports banned by UN Security Council Resolution 2371, adopted unanimously on August 5.

A cargo of north korea at a port in South Korea in 2005. The ships were found "transporting prohibited goods", AFP quoted Griffiths as saying. "It's a pretty swift and decisive action by the committee", he said, describing the move as "unprecedented".

The sanctions include a ban on the sale of natural gas liquids to North Korea and limitations to the sale of crude oil and refined petrol products. They also prohibit all textile exports, ban all joint ventures and cooperative operations, and bars any nation from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers - key sources of hard currency for the nation.

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"There are four vessels that have been designated by the committee".

The ban entered into force on October 5 and does not imply freezing assets or a ban on movement.

According to MarineTraffic, a maritime database that monitors vessels and their moments, Petrel 8 is registered in Comoros, Hao Fan 6 in St Kitts and Nevis, and Tong San 2 in North Korea.

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"[Mansudae] has representatives, branches and affiliates in the Asia-Pacific region, all over Africa and all over Europe", Griffiths said. The panel also has received reports that North Korea "is continuing its attempts to export coal" in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to Griffiths.

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