The Comoros shipping registry on Friday confirmed to NK News it had removed a newly sanctioned North Korean ship from its list of members, in line with UN resolutions.
Following in the footsteps of St Kitts and Nevis which also deregistered a designated vessel in late September, the Administration of the Union of Comoros said the ship – called the Petrel 8 – was removed its registry on October 13.
“At the present time the subject vessel does not have the right to fly under Union of Comoros flag,” Boyan Bihlyumov, the Deputy Commissioner for Maritime Affairs told NK News.
“All the vessel’s certificates are suspended and all the Maritime Institutions (IMO, PSC-s etc.) are duly notified.”
International law requires merchant ships be registered with a country and have a “flag state” in order to sail internationally.
Many vessels affiliated with North Korea use flags from other countries, a practice known as sailing under a flag of convenience (FOC).
But recent UN resolutions have attempted to clamp down on the North’s ability to use flags from other countries.
The DPRK often uses the technique in conjunction with networks of paper companies in Hong Kong and China to further hide its connection to numerous vessels.
The UN added four vessels to its blacklist on October 4 for “transporting prohibited items from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”
While the UN did not reveal the nature of the vessels’ cargoes, it’s possible they were transporting bulk products like iron or coal, with the exception of one the designated vessels which was caught carrying weapons to Egypt last year.
The Comoros registry added the Petrel 8 was registered under the “Union of Comoros flag in January 2017, because she complied with all the rules for the registration,” although one of the ship’s managers probably should have raised concerns.
According to the Equasis maritime database, the Petrel 8’s safety manager Dalian Longang Shipping also administers a North Korean-flagged vessel, in probable breach of UN resolutions.
The DPRK ship – called the Northern Luck – also has a questionable past, with its previous owners and managers linked to sanctions evasions networks in Hong Kong and one other vessel that was also sanctioned by the UN last year.
The NK Pro ship tracker shows the Petrel 8 is currently outside a port in northeast China, where it has been waiting for several days.
It’s last confirmed visit to a port was on October 6 in Laizhou Bay when the ship docked at a facility that appears capable of handling bulk cargoes. As the ship was already designated, the visit to the port may have breached UN resolutions.
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 436 words of this article.
Featured Image: Chindini Beach by D-Stanley on 2013-09-11 09:41:40