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Seoul seizes cargo ship sailing from North Korea to Russia — report

South Korea seizes a ship en route from North Korea to Russia (illustrative photo)
South Korea seizes a ship en route from North Korea to Russia (illustrative photo)

South Korean authorities have seized a vessel believed to be in breach of UN sanctions against North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported on April 3, citing unnamed sources.

The 3,000-ton cargo ship DEYI was en route from North Korea to Russia via China when South Korean forces intercepted it near Yeosu, on the peninsula's southern coast.

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The vessel's 13-person crew, including the Chinese captain and various Chinese and Indonesian crew members, reportedly refused to stop the ship when approached, leading to its forced redirection and docking near Busan.

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Commenting on the incident, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official said, "Our government is working closely with the United States to investigate the suspected breach of UN Security Council resolutions by the ship in question."

Read also: Russia vetoes UN resolution on monitoring North Korea sanctions

Officials have yet to confirm whether the ship has violated sanctions, as the crew has denied access to the vessel's cargo hold, the report adds.

Under UN Resolution 2397, adopted in 2017, nations have the right to detain, inspect, and seize any vessel within their territorial waters if it is suspected of engaging in illegal activities with North Korea.

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