US seizes North Korean ship for alleged sanctions violations

# 21:25
9 May 2019

The United States has seized a North Korean cargo ship, alleging sanctions violations by the country, the Justice Department said Thursday, ONA reports citing CNN.

The seizure is likely to heighten tensions between the two countries at a time when US efforts to dissuade North Korea from pursuing its nuclear weapons program have stalled following the failure of the Hanoi summit in February.

The ship, the M/V Wise Honest, was "used to illicitly ship coal from North Korea and to deliver heavy machinery to the (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)," the Justice Department said, alleging that "payments for maintenance, equipment, and improvements of the Wise Honest were made in US dollars through unwitting US banks.

"This conduct violates longstanding US law and United Nations Security Council resolutions," the Justice Department said.

It's unclear precisely when the ship was seized by the US, but a warrant for the seizure of the M/V Wise Honest was issued by a US federal judge in July 2018, according to a forfeiture complaint filed in the Southern District of New York.