Philippines in first North Korea ship inspection

The Philippines Coast Guard has become the first to carry out a UN-mandated inspection on Jin Teng, a general cargo vessel associated with North Korean trades.

On boarding the Chinese-owned, Sierra-Leone-flagged vessel, the Coast Guard commander Raul Belesario said that no suspicious materials were found, despite the new list of banned trades which includes exports of coal, iron, iron ore, gold, titanium and rare earth minerals from the DPRK.

The vessel belongs to Chinese owner Golden Soar Development, and is known to be associated with trades to North Korea It is one of a number of ships being targeted by the UN which are owned by companies in Hong Kong and China, rather than DPRK.

Although free trade, with the exception of armaments, was allowed before this week’s new sanctions, various North Korean shipowners have been blacklisted by the UN, limiting their port call options and making their vessels difficult to insure or refuel.

In particular, Ocean Maritime Management was blacklisted after bulker Chong Chon Gang was found to be carrying missile parts and two MiG-21 jet fighters, hidden under a cargo of sugar.

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