10:03 22 March 2016
4 ships removed from U.N.'s North Korean sanctions list
NEW YORK, March 21, Kyodo
The U.N. Security Council agreed Monday to remove four ships from a sanctions list, according to a note by the chairman of the U.N.'s North Korea sanctions committee.
Committee chair, Spain's Ambassador Ramon Oyarzun Marchesi, requested the deletion of four vessels that were previously blacklisted in the latest sanctions resolution adopted unanimously against the reclusive country on March 2.
The move was requested by China last Friday, according to the note by the chair.
"The Committee notes that new measures have been taken to establish confidence that these vessels were not operated or controlled by OMM," the document said, referring to the blacklisted North Korean shipping firm, Ocean Maritime Management Co.
Thirty-one ships were named as owned by Ocean Maritime Management and listed in the resolution that was imposed on Pyongyang for carrying out its fourth underground nuclear test in January and following that up with a long-range missile launch in February. Both are prohibited in past resolutions.
The four ships are JH 86, Jin Tal, Jin Teng and Grand Karo. Diplomats said that the ships are Chinese. The Jin Teng cargo ship was the first to be detained, in the Philippines, after the Security Council adopted the resolution and the Grand Karo also faced problems when trying to berth in northeastern China.
It was determined that the four vessels are "not economic resources controlled or operated by OMM and therefore not subject to the asset freeze."
Reuters had earlier reported that the agreement was reached between Chinese and American officials with the assurance that the vessels would not use North Korean crews.
"We discovered that they were not OMM ships," Reuters quoted China's Ambassador Liu Jieyi as saying. "The basis for the listing of the ships is basically that they belong to OMM, so if you make a mistake then you correct the mistake."