North Korea: US calls for blacklist on 10 ships violating sanctions

North Korea: US calls for blacklist on 10 ships violating sanctions

Maritime Executive reproted that a new report suggests that the United States has asked the UN Security Council to expand the list of merchant ships banned for illicit trade with North Korea.

North Korea paused its missile testing for more than two months before firing a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile in late November.

If the proposal is adopted, the ships would be banned from entering United Nations member ports.

China, which has veto power in the Council, has been reluctant to make additional sanctions against North Korea.

China has been irritated by stepped up USA naval deployments in the Pacific and along with Russian Federation has proposed that Washington and Seoul halt major military exercises in exchange for North Korea freezing its weapons programs.

Reclusive North Korea has boasted of developing a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching the mainland United States in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions and global condemnation.

The United States has led the drive at the Security Council to tighten sanctions that are aimed at pressuring Kim Jong-Un's regime to come to the negotiating table.

The US has identified 10 ships it says are violating worldwide sanctions on North Korea.

The council imposed an annual cap of two million barrels in September, and the new resolution calls for a further reduction to 500-thousand barrels for next year. It would also add 19 new North Koreans to the United Nations sanctions blacklist.

If adopted, the resolution would also allow countries to seize, inspect and freeze vessels in their ports or waters that are suspected of transporting banned goods to and from the North.

In negotiations on previous sanctions, the United States has first agreed with China on provisions of each resolution before presenting the text to the full 15-member council, which has then quickly voted.

The request targets the Hong Kong-flagged oil tanker Lighthouse Winmore, the Palau-flagged oil tanker Billions No. 18, the cargo carrier Xin Sheng Hai from Belize and the Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship Kai Xiang.

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