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S Korea Detains Panama-Flagged Ship Suspected of Oil Supplies to DPRK - Reports

© AP Photo / Lee Jin-manSouth Korean Coast Guard police officers on a boat (File)
South Korean Coast Guard police officers on a boat (File) - Sputnik International
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TOKYO (Sputnik) - The authorities of South Korea intercepted and searched the ship under the flag of Panama on suspicion of carrying and selling oil to Pyongyang bypassing the sanctions of the UN Security Council, local media reported Sunday.

The 5,100-tonne KOTI vessel is moored in the port of Pyeongtaek-Tanjin in the South Korean province of Gyeonggi, most of its crew are citizens of China and Myanmar, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing sources.

READ MORE: Beijing Blasts Trump's Claims on Chinese Oil Sales to North Korea

The decision to ban the ship's exit from the port was taken by the authorities of South Korea on December 21, but the information was disclosed just on Sunday. The South Korean government detains a ship under the flag of a foreign country on suspicion of supplying oil to North Korea for the second time in a month.

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Earlier this week, Seoul announced it had intercepted and searched a Hong Kong-flagged ship Lighthouse Winmore, which on October 19 delivered 600 tonnes of processed oil to a North Korean ship. After this, the Hong Kong vessel went to the South Korean port of Yeosu, where on November 24 it was detained and searched by the customs officers of South Korea.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula has escalated over the past few months, following several ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests conducted by Pyongyang in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

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