The United States declared the taking hold of the North Korean cargo ship for breaching the international sanctions, escalating the pressure on Pyongyang as nuclear negotiations have pulled up.
According to the US Justice Department, it took possession of the North Korea-registered mass M/V Wise Honest after one year it was detained in Indonesia. As per the claim of the US justice department, the vessel’s owner, the Korean Songi Shipping Company, had used it for illegal export coal and import heavy machine and using US dollars paid for maintenance and equipment violating the US and international sanctions on North Korea.
It was the first time a North Korean Cargo vessel had been taken hold for sanctions violations, even after several years of high seas cat-and-mouse games in which Korean shippers disguised vessels, using false flags and turned off their tracking for avoiding discovery.
The declaration came as tensions rose over test launch over Pyongyang of two doubted short-ranging missiles, the second such initiative in a week.
The US attorney, Geoffrey Berman claimed in a statement, “ our office uncovered North Korea’s scheme to export tons of high-grade coal to foreign buyers by concealing the origin of their ship, the Wise Honest”.
He also added, “with this seizure, we have significantly disrupted that cycle. We are willing and able to deploy the full array of law enforcement tools to detect, deter and prosecute North Korea’s deceptive attempts to evade sanctions”.
The United States and the United Nations have given efforts for increasing economic pressure on North Korea to restrict the nuclear weapons and long-ranging missile development programs.
The entire economic lifelines of the country have been targeted by the sanctions through the banning of its exports of raw materials like coal and iron, labor and some farm goods, and restricting its imports of oil along with other fuels.
Additionally, the US sanctions have targeted to block the country in the field of the international banking system by blocking banks with arms from trafficking with North Korean business.
Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un has met with US President Donald Trump twice since last year for discussing and pitching the nuclear program of North Korea in exchange for extracting sanctions, but both sides are at a hindrance.