Last week, South Korea seized an oil tanker with Hong Kong registry that was suspected of transferring oil to a ship that took it to North Korea. China denied violating the UN sanctions against supplying oil to the Hermit Kingdom.
Over the weekend, South Korea seized a second oil tanker due to allegations of supplying oil to North Korea. The second ship had Panamanian registry, but most of the crew are reported to be from China and Burma.
No one has yet said what nation is responsible for either ship supplying oil to North Korea, but many are pointing fingers at China.
(Fox News) – South Korea announced Sunday that it has seized another ship suspected of violating U.N. sanctions by selling oil to North Korea at sea – this time a Panama-flagged one.
The announcement Sunday came just days after South Korea said it is holding the crew of a Hong Kong-flagged ship that allegedly handed over oil to a North Korean vessel in October.
The 5,100-ton ship, named the KOTI, is being held in the western port of Pyeongtaek-Dangjin, maritime officials told Yonhap News Agency on Sunday.
One official said the vessel has been blocked from departing the port since Dec. 21. The KOTI’s crew are mostly from China and Burma, other officials added, declining to elaborate further on an ongoing investigation…
With the UN sanctions, US sanctions and the seizure of two ships accused of supplying oil to North Korea, perhaps it is time for a naval blockade around North Korea to prevent any further violations of international sanctions. It would not be hard for the United States, South Korea and Japan work together to form a naval blockade that would allow them to search and block any ship heading for North Korea.