USA seizes North Korean cargo ship

North Korea has fired another projectile its second launch in less than a week South Korea says

The Trump administration says it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that USA officials say was used to transport coal in violation of worldwide sanctions. But U.S. law enforcement officials insisted the two events were not linked.

In New York, federal authorities said a North Korean freighter had been seized on grounds of violating United Nations sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

He said "nobody is happy" about North Korea's latest missile launch.

Justice Department officials on Thursday confirmed that the vessel, the Wise Honest, is approaching U.S. territorial waters in American Samoa, in coordination with the U.S. Marshals Service and the Coast Guard.

This process has never been used to seize a North Korean ship for sanctions violations, but because the DPRK used American banks to finance the ship's upkeep, the U.S. is entitled to take it, according to the complaint, which charges the vessel itself with crimes including money laundering. The captain was charged with improper documentation, a violation of Indonesian maritime law, and convicted.

North Korean cargo ship Wise Honest has been seized by United States authorities.

Indonesian authorities intercepted and seized the Wise Honest in the East China Sea a month after it was photographed at the port of Nampo, North Korea, where it took on a load of coal. The ship, known as the "Wise Honest", was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. "Forfeiting the ship will deprive the North Korean regime of a significant means by which it has evaded sanctions and funded itself".




North Korea has been the subject of a series of U.S. and global sanctions over Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons and missile tests.

Berman said Thursday that Kim's regime was evading sanctions by "concealing" Wise Honest's origin.

The launch of the projectiles - identified as short-range missiles by the South Korea military - came as a United States envoy visited Seoul, across one of the world's most heavily militarised borders.

In addition, USA sanctions have aimed to lock the country out of the worldwide banking system by preventing banks with United States arms from dealing with North Korean businesses.

In the KBS interview, Moon also warned North Korea of the risk of a misunderstanding that could result from its actions.

This undated picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS on March 7, 2017 shows the launch of four ballistic missiles by the Korean People's Army (KPA) during a military drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea. At least one member of the crew appears to have died in custody, one has been hospitalized, and three were already deported for medical reasons.

"We've been pursuing this for months", said Geoffrey Berman, the USA attorney for the Southern District of NY, where prosecutors filed a civil complaint against the ship for violating USA sanctions. The country will have an opportunity to contest the seizure in court. He was speaking of the February meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and American President Donald Trump. Enermax denied knowledge of North Korea's involvement in the delivery and said it believed it was purchasing Indonesian coal.

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