How a North Korean ship changed hands multiple times in just over a decade
Experts say the Mu Pho’s swapping of names, flags suggests sanctions evasion
North Korean ships are now well-known for hiding their activities behind false companies to navigate around international sanctions. Even when “owned” by non-North Koreans, these ships can remain under state control for decades.
An illuminating case in point is the Mu Pho (IMO: 8651178), a 5,300-deadweight-ton cargo ship built in 2009. NK Pro analysis shows that, for over a decade, the ship changed hands between Chinese-linked shell companies and swapped names and flags. Only now is it once again sailing openly under the flag and ownership of the DPRK.
Neil Watts, a former member of the United
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