UN: Many ships, companies blacklisted over North Korea smuggling

United Nations has taken a tough stance against many ships and shipping companies due to their involvement in the North Korean smuggling of oil and coal. This has further intensified pressure on the Pyongyang ahead of Kim Jong Un’s upcoming Summits with the US and South Korea.

The UN North Korean sanctions Committee is said to have acted on US requests for the blacklisting of 21 shipping companies which include 5 Chinese firms, a man from Taiwan, 15 North Korean ships and 12 non-North Korean ships.

The move is significant as two high-profile summits are planned for April and May. Trump administration had accepted the North Korean invitation for Summit and had stated that maximum sanctions and pressure should be maintained. Nikki Haley, US ambassador to UN has said that the move is to curb North Korean illegal smuggling activities for obtaining oil and coal. The recent blacklisting is a clear message that the world is united behind the US efforts to maintain maximum pressure on North Korea.

It was earlier stated that the recent visit of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Beijing had bought him obvious leverage before the Summits with South Korea and the US.

The 12 non-North Korean ships will now face a global port ban and will be deregistered while the 15 North Korean ships will face a complete asset freeze and 13 of these will face a global port ban. Tsang Yung Yuan is the man from Taiwan who is held responsible for coordination of the North Korean coal exports with a North Korean broker who operates in the third country and already has a history of many evasion activities of sanctions. He will also face an asset freeze and a travel ban.

Assets from 21 shipping companies including the Marshall Islands, Singapore, Panama and Samoa are also frozen.

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