Sat, Oct 15, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Taiwanese fishing boats told not to work with N Korea

By Huang Chien-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Fisheries Agency yesterday said it has not authorized Taiwanese fishing vessels to enter into cooperation with North Korean ships in that nation’s territorial waters, in observance of UN Security Council Resolution 2270.

Resolution 2270 condemned a nuclear test conducted by North Korea on Jan. 6 that constituted a challenge to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to peace and stability in the region and beyond.

The Fisheries Agency issued the statement yesterday after a report by South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency quoted sources familiar with North Korean affairs as saying North Korea was selling fishing rights to Taiwanese fishermen in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for about 1.6 million won (US$1,414) per day, adding that Pyongyang demanded that Taiwan employ North Korean workers and pay about US$500 in monthly wages.

Fisheries Agency Deputy Director-General Huang Hung-yan (黃鴻燕) said that while North Korea is free to sell fishing rights within its EEZ to other nations, Taiwan has no plans to cooperate with it.

In accordance with the Regulations for External Fisheries Cooperation (對外漁業合作辦法), fishing activity within the EEZ of other nations must be authorized by the agency beforehand, and any illegal operation in another nation’s EEZ is penalized by suspending the violator’s fishing license for one year, or in extreme cases, revoking it entirely, the agency said.

Huang said no fishing boats have requested to enter cooperation with North Korea and after examining vessel monitoring system information, the agency is certain that no Taiwanese ships are operating within the North Korean EEZ.

The agency is to issue statements to all Taiwanese fishing groups and fishing boat owners to clarify that no ships are to cooperate with North Korea without prior authorization, in light of Pyongyang seemingly buckling under UN sanctions.

The agency will observe UN Resolution 2270 against North Korea, Huang said, adding that as of Aug. 12, ship captains are not allowed to hire or renew contracts with North Korean workers as per national policy.

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