In what has been described as an unprecedented move, a ship registered in St.Kitts and Nevis is accused of violating North Korean sanctions and has been banned from all global ports.
According to the MarineTraffic website, a maritime database that monitors the movement of vessels, Hao Fan 6 from St. Kitts and Nevis along the Petrel 8 registered in Comoros, Tong San 2 from North Korea and the Jie Shun, are accused of dealing with North Korea in defiance of United Nations (UN) sanctions on the rogue nation.
In August, a UN resolution banned exports of coal, seafood and iron ore from North Korea. Sanctions were expanded last month to include the export of textiles and North Korean guest workers, as well as a cap on oil imports.
The tightening of trade restrictions followed Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test and the firing of two missiles over Japan. Banning ships that break the sanctions is part of a UN get tough policy.
North Korea’s main economic partner China has signed up to the measures, along with Russia. Both have previously vetoed harsher sanctions on the secretive state.
The export of coal, ore and other raw materials to China is one of North Korea’s few sources of foreign cash. Estimates say that North Korea exports about $3bn worth of goods each year – and the sanctions could eliminate $1bn of that trade.
However, repeated sanctions have so far failed to deter North Korea from continuing with its nuclear and missile development programmes.