Sun, Mar 04, 2018 - Page 1 News List

China delays US bid to blacklist ships, firms over N Korea

OPAQUE REASONING:Beijing did not say why it put a hold on the request, which follows a Chinese objection in December to blacklisting six companies

Reuters, UNITED NATIONS

A photograph released by the Japanese Ministry of Defense on Feb. 16 shows what it says is the North Korean-flagged tanker Yu Jong 2, bottom, beside the Min Ning De You 078 in the East China Sea.

Photo: AP / Japanese Ministry of Defense

China delayed a US request for a UN Security Council committee to blacklist 33 ships, 27 shipping companies and a Taiwanese man for violating international sanctions on North Korea, diplomats said on Friday.

The US submitted the request a week ago, a move it said is “aimed at shutting down North Korea’s illicit maritime smuggling activities to obtain oil and sell coal.”

The UN request coincided with the US imposing its largest package of unilateral sanctions against North Korea.

China did not give a reason for placing a hold on the request. A hold can be lifted and is often used when a council member wants more information, but sometimes it can lead to a permanent blocking of a proposed blacklisting.

The council’s North Korea sanctions committee works on the basis of unanimity.

If agreed, the 33 ships proposed by the US, 19 of which are North Korean vessels, would be subjected to a global port entry ban. Nations would also be required to deregister the 14 ships that are not North Korean.

The 27 proposed companies and the Taiwanese man would be subjected to an asset freeze.

The council has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

In December last year, the US proposed 10 ships for blacklisting. The committee agreed to designate four, while diplomats said China objected listing the remaining six.

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