March 06, 2016 at 12:01 am
FOLLOWING a United Nations resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, the Philippines said Saturday it had impounded a North Korean vessel in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2270.
Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said the 6,830-ton cargo ship Jin Teng will not be allowed to leave Subic Freeport, where it had been docked for three days and its crew will be deported.
“We know that the world is disturbed by what is happening in North Korea because of its nuclear weapons program and its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions,” according to Quezon.
“As part of the UN, we have an obligation to do its part to enforce the sanctions,” he said.
It was the first reported case of the sanctions—the toughest to date, which were adopted late Wednesday by the UN Security Council—being enforced.
The Jin Teng, carrying palm kernels, arrived in Subic from Palembang, Indonesia Thursday afternoon, just hours after the UN passed its latest sanction against the reclusive nation.
As a response, Pyongyang fired six short-range missiles into the sea on Thursday, while North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un ordered its nuclear arsenal put on standby for pre-emptive use.
A team from the UN is expected to inspect the ship in the port, located near a former United States naval base, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said.
Jose told AFP the ship was impounded “in compliance with the UN resolution” and did not depend on the results of the inspections.
The Jin Teng, carrying palm kernels, was searched for the second time on Saturday, this time using electronic weapons sensors, coastguard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo told AFP, adding the 21 crewmen were “very cooperative.”
Balilo said no explosives, drugs or banned substances have been found so far.
North Korea has no embassy in the Philippines. Its embassies in Thailand and Indonesia were unavailable for comment when contacted by AFP.
There are no other North Korean ships docked in Subic, according to the coastguard.
On Friday, the European Union also tightened sanctions against North Korea by adding 16 people and 12 entities to a list of some 60 individuals and groups who were hit with travel bans and asset freezes.