North Korea ship seized by the Philippines following imposition of UN sanctions

The Jin Teng's 21 strong crew are likely to be deported

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The Independent Online

A North Korean ship has been seized by the Philippines as part of strict new measures against the rogue state.

The Philippine government has said that it “has to do its part” to enforce tougher sanctions against North Korea.  

The seizure comes after Resolution 2270 was passed in a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council in response to increasingly frequent nuclear and rocket tests by the country. 

The ship, the Jin Teng, was docked in Subic Bay in the north of the Philippines, where its cargo of palm kernals were being unloaded.

It is now being secured by the coast guard.  

The Jin Teng’s 21 strong crew, who were reported to be cooperative, are likely to be deported.

"In compliance with the United Nations resolution, the North Korean ship in Subic will be impounded and not allowed to leave port," foreign ministry spokesman, Charles Jose, said.

The ship, which was found to have a number of safety issues and was travelling under the flag of Sierra Leone, was searched by the Philippine authorities. 

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A photo handout shows Philippines Coast Guard officials inspect North Korean freighter Jin Teng

 It will also be searched by a UN team.

Manolo Quezon, deputy presidential spokesman, told Reuters: "The world is concerned over North Korea's nuclear weapons programme and as a member of the UN, the Philippines has to do its part to enforce the sanctions."

The Jin Teng is controlled by Ocean Maritime Management, a North Korean company who were blacklisted by the UN Security Council in 2014 following the discovery of weapons on board one of its ships near the Panama Canal.

The recent sanctions imposed on North Korea mean that all shipping and aircraft from the country are now subject to inspections. It is also banned from exporting natural resources and importing small arms, along with other measures.