WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. said Thursday that it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that was used to violate international sanctions, a first-of-its kind enforcement action that comes amid a tense moment in relations between the two countries.

The “Wise Honest,” North Korea’s second largest cargo ship, was detained in April 2018 as it traveled toward Indonesia. It’s now in the process of being moved to American Samoa, Justice Department officials said.

North Korea’s second largest cargo ship, the ‘Wise Honest’ was captured and seized in Indonesia by the U.S. after it was found transporting coal and heavy machinery violation of U.S. sanctions – May 09, 2019. Credit: Department of Justice via AP

Officials made the announcement hours after North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, the second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble. The public disclosure that the vessel is now in U.S. custody may further inflame tensions, though U.S. officials said the timing of their complaint was not a response to the missile launch.

Justice Department lawyers laid out the case for confiscating the ship in a complaint filed in New York, arguing that payments for maintenance and operation of the vessel were channeled through unwitting U.S. financial institutions in violation of American law. The coal trade itself is also believed to fund the isolated country’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The seizure of the North Korean cargo ship by he U.S. comes amidst growing tensions between the two countries with the regime firing 3 short range ballistic missiles in this week – May 10, 2019

“This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the Justice Department’s top national security official, told reporters. He later added: “The U.S. sanctions against North Korea reflect the threat these programs pose to U.S. national security.”

The 581-foot (177 meters) Wise Honest was used for coal transports to ports abroad, according to the complaint, generating badly needed revenue to a country that is under U.N. sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program. The ship also delivered heavy machinery back to North Korea.

The vessel was owned by a subsidiary of a North Korean shipping company that is controlled by the country’s military and is on a Treasury Department sanctions list, officials said.

North Korea later released two images one of which is this one of Kim Jong Un smiling during a missile test launch as tensions with the U.S. escalate – May 09, 2019. Credit: KCNA/KNS via AP

North Korea sought to disguise the nationality of the ship and the origin of its cargo, according to the complaint. The ship, in what U.S. officials say was a clear act of concealment, also turned off an automatic signal system intended to alert other ships of its course and location. The ship had not broadcast a signal since August 2017 despite having made at least one voyage since then, according to the complaint.

Indonesian authorities intercepted and seized the Wise Honest in the East China Sea a month after it was photographed at the port of Nampo, North Korea, where it took on a load of coal. The captain of the ship was charged in Indonesia with violating that country’s maritime laws and convicted, the complaint says. It was not immediately clear what happened to the rest of the crew, which at least at one time totaled two dozen members.

North Korea later released two images one of which is this one of Kim Jong Un watching missile test launches on site as tensions with the U.S. escalate – May 09, 2019. Credit: KCNA/KNS via AP

The U.S. has prosecuted people and businesses for violating sanctions but has never before seized a North Korean ship. The country will have an opportunity to contest the seizure in court. If the U.S. prevails, it will be able to sell the vessel.

“When nations who have stated an intent to do harm to the United States evade international sanctions, Americans become less safe,” said Geoffrey Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Asked whether North Korea’s largest merchant ship was similarly involved in illegal coal exports, Demers said that he did not know, but added, “If it is, we’d love to get our hands on it.”

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have held two summits focused on the North’s nuclear program but have made no discernible progress toward a deal that would eliminate its weapons. At the White House on Thursday, Trump said the U.S. was looking “very seriously right now” at North Korea’s recent military tests.

“Nobody’s happy about it.”

Facebook Comments


  1. Pingback: sales viagra
  2. Pingback: vietnamese viagra
  3. Pingback: cialis 20mg
  4. Pingback: amaryl 1 mg canada
  5. Pingback: atarax 25 mg uk
  6. Pingback: catapres usa
  7. Pingback: cheapest celebrex
  8. Pingback: celexa medication
  9. Pingback: cipro 750 mg nz
  10. Pingback: gambling games
  11. Pingback: slot machine games
  12. Pingback: rivers casino
  13. Pingback: online casino
  14. Pingback: best online casino
  15. Pingback: insurance auto
  16. Pingback: erie car insurance
  17. Pingback: cbd oil products
  18. Pingback: ananda cbd oil
  19. Pingback: term paper writer
  20. Pingback: buy essay papers
  21. Pingback: clomid medication
  22. Pingback: clozaril otc
  23. Pingback: coreg medication
  24. Pingback: compazine coupon
  25. Pingback: coumadin 5 mg usa
  26. Pingback: cozaar 25mg prices
  27. Pingback: crestor pharmacy
  28. Pingback: ddavp canada
  29. Pingback: buy diamox 250mg
  30. Pingback: differin generic
  31. Pingback: dramamine pharmacy
  32. Pingback: elavil 25mg otc
  33. Pingback: imitrex purchase
  34. Pingback: cheap imuran 50mg
  35. Pingback: indocin nz
  36. Pingback: lamisil 250mg cost
  37. Pingback: levaquin 750mg otc
  38. Pingback: luvox 100 mg uk
  39. Pingback: mobic 15 mg otc
  40. Pingback: motrin 400 mg otc
  41. Pingback: viagra
  42. Pingback: prevacid cost
  43. Pingback: procardia otc
  44. Pingback: cheap remeron 15mg
  45. Pingback: rogaine tablet
  46. Pingback: spiriva canada
  47. Pingback: toprol nz
  48. Pingback: tricor cheap
  49. Pingback: valtrex otc
  50. Pingback: order voltaren
  51. Pingback: moved here
  52. Pingback: zovirax 800 mg nz
  53. Pingback: zyvox medication
  54. Pingback: sildenafil cheap
  55. Pingback: tadalafil otc
  56. Pingback: pioglitazone usa
  57. Pingback: order anastrozole
  58. Pingback: dutasteride prices
  59. Pingback: buspirone price
  60. Pingback: cefuroxime price
  61. Pingback: does cialis work
  62. Pingback: cialis online safe
  63. Pingback: divalproex tablets
  64. Pingback: cialis order
  65. Pingback: cialis omline
  66. Pingback: cytotmeds.com
  67. Pingback: dosing for priligy
  68. Pingback: quetiapine 200 mg
  69. Pingback: sildenafil 50mg
  70. Pingback: viagra online
  71. Pingback: buy viagra online
  72. Pingback: cialis 10
  73. Pingback: cialis samples
  74. Pingback: cialis online uk
  75. Pingback: sildenafil coupon
  76. Pingback: canadian viagra
  77. Pingback: stromectol use
  78. Pingback: cheap-levitra.com
  79. Pingback: online viagra
  80. Pingback: viagra cheapest
  81. Pingback: sildenafil 20 mg
  82. Pingback: sex pills cialis
  83. Pingback: ivermectin cost
  84. Pingback: viagra 130 mg
  85. Pingback: cialis uk
  86. Pingback: generic viagra 100
  87. Pingback: cialis viagra
  88. Pingback: viagra best buy
  89. Pingback: sildenafil 20mg
  90. Pingback: generic for viagra
  91. Pingback: dapoxetine fass
  92. Pingback: viagra samples
  93. Pingback: viagra on line
  94. Pingback: viagra for men
  95. Pingback: viagra tablet
  96. Pingback: viagra prices
  97. Pingback: viagra jokes
  98. Pingback: furosemide 50 mg
  99. Pingback: plaquenil discount
  100. Pingback: cialis vs viagra
  101. Pingback: viagra vs.levitra
  102. Pingback: viagra walmart
  103. Pingback: viagra substitute
  104. Pingback: sildenafil goodrx
  105. Pingback: 25 mg viagra

Comments are closed.