US detains North Korean bulker

US detains North Korean bulker

The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship, sparking fears of a retaliatory move from sanctions-hit Pyongyang.

The Wise Honest, a 30-year-old, 27,881 dwt bulk carrier, which European shipping database Equasis lists as owned by Korea Songi Shipping, was originally detained in Indonesia 13 months ago, accused of illicit coal shipments. Yesterday, the US Justice Department revealed American authorities have now taken control of the ship and it is headed for American Samoa.

“This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service,” John Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said in a statement.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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