Korea Customs Service confirmed to be nearing the end of its investigation into companies which were involved in illegal North Korean coal importation
It is known that North Korean coal was imported into South Korea by several domestic companies. Expectations are high in that the companies involved will face heavy criticism and possibly sanctions from the the UN Security Council and international community for violating the sanctions against North Korea. It is revealed that there were holes in the government’s sanctions against North Korea after additional incidents in which vessels that were docked in North Korea have visited ports in South Korea more than three times occurred.
According to sources from the government, there were “several” domestic companies that imported North Korean coal, which is known to be carried into the country via Russia. The government is investigating the coal importing process as well. If North Korea’s coal imports are confirmed to be true, the companies which were involved will be put the sanctions list by the international community including the United States. In August last year, the Security Council adopted a resolution (No.2371) imposing heavy sanctions on North Korea.
South Korean government has not yet asked Russia to investigate into the situation, but it is confirmed that the North Korean coal has been brought into the country from Russia.
A government official explained that “It is possible to request a further investigation detailing of the situation only after the final confirmation on the source of the coal in question is made which the Korean Customs Services is currently investigating.”
The Korean Customs Services will be finishing the investigation soon and sending the companies in question to the prosecutors for violating the customs law.
According to the VOA on 29th, Xin Seung Hai which was travelling under the flag of Belize transported coal from Nampo Port In North Korea to China and Vietnam last July and August, then traveled to ports in Incheon, Busan and Pohang in October. The vessel was not denied of entry.