Sun, Dec 31, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Local firm not involved in N Korea oil transfer: officials

Staff writer, with CNA

The Presidential Office has denied claims made by a South Korean news outlet that a Taiwanese company was behind a Hong Kong-registered ship that secretly transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in October, an action prohibited by the UN Security Council’s latest sanctions against Pyongyang.

The Presidential Office addressed a claim made by the Korea Herald on Friday that Billions Bunker Group chartered a Hong Kong vessel to transfer oil to a North Korean vessel in international waters in a ship-to-ship transfer, which is prohibited by the UN.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ Maritime and Port Bureau said that the ship used in the oil transfer was registered in Hong Kong and leased by Billions Bunker Group, which is registered in the Marshall Islands.

However, reports indicate that US intelligence sources informed the bureau that the owner of the company is Taiwanese.

Late on Friday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said that the ministry is investigating the allegation.

The Presidential Office earlier underscored the nation’s commitment to cooperate with UN policies and international sanctions to promote safety and stability in the region.

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