South Korea seized a Panamanian-flagged vessel after it was suspected of illegally selling oil to North Korea, CNN reported Sunday.
It was the second ship seized in what South Korea called an ongoing effort to monitor North Korea’s attempts to circumvent United Nations sanctions. Sunday, officials seized the KOTI, maritime authorities told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
The ship, which can carry 5,100 metric tons of oil, is docked in the Pyeongtaek-Dangjin port on South Korea’s west coast after security officials reportedly decided on Dec. 21 to not allow the vessel to leave the port, CNN reported, citing a local maritime office that spoke to Yonhap.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry said it has launched an investigation into a ship it had seized but did not provide specifics, CNN reported.
“We are closely monitoring North Korea’s attempts to evade U.N. sanctions. We are also working closely with relevant countries and ministries for a thorough implementation of the U.N. resolutions. As for the KOTI, an investigation is underway,” a South Korean foreign ministry spokeswoman told CNN.
On Saturday, Reuters reported that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea.
Just days ago, as well, satellite images of Chinese vessels propping up North Korea emerged.