US seizes North Korean coal ship for violating sanctions
In the latest sign of mounting tensions between the US and North Korea, the US government has, for the first time in history, seized a North Korean ship because it violates international sanctions on the country. While the announcement comes at a time of renewed North Korean missile activity, the US claims the move was unrelated to the recent weapons tests.
US prosecutor Geoffrey S Berman says that his office “uncovered North Korea’s scheme to export tons of high-grade coal to foreign buyers by concealing the origin of their ship, the Wise Honest,” and that the ship “was also used to import heavy machinery to North Korea.” The US claims that by means of the described export and import activity, North Korea has been evading sanctions imposed on the country by the United Nations.
US-North Korea relations have significantly deteriorated since the collapse of a February nuclear summit attended by US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung-un.