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Palace: Alleged North Korean ship to stay at Subic port while under probe

/ 04:30 PM March 08, 2016
Philippines North Korean Ship

Crewmen of the North Korean cargo vessel Jin Teng stand on the middle of the deck as it unloads its cargo while docked at Subic Bay, in Zambales province, northwest of Manila, Philippines, Friday, March 4, 2016. The Philippine coast guard inspected a North Korean cargo vessel that docked at a port northwest of Manila in one of the first such checks since the U.N. Security Council imposed further sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear program. AP FILE PHOTO

Malacañang on Tuesday said the M/V Jin Teng, a suspected North Korean cargo ship, will remain at the Port of Subic in Zambales while the investigation required by the United Nations (UN) Security Council is ongoing.

READ: PH seizes N. Korean ship

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“We have been informed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that an inter-agency meeting was convened yesterday at the initiative of the National Coast Watch Center to discuss further actions,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a Palace briefing.

“It was decided that the Coast Guard will continue to hold the vessel at port until the ongoing inquiry and investigation has been completed. It was also agreed that the crew may be allowed to leave if justified by the results of the investigation,” he explained.

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Other agencies that participated in the meeting were the Department of Transportation and Communications, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Immigration.

A Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority official earlier reported that the MV Jin Teng has been impounded by the Philippine Coast Guard based on an order by the DFA, which enforced a new UN sanction against North Korea for its decision to push through with a nuclear test and a recent missile launch.

READ: PCG inspects Nokor ship in Subic

Asked if the vessel has been fully inspected, Coloma said “initial inspection” has been conducted.

“But they are still going on with respect to the full inquiry and investigation that the UN Security Council resolution requires,” he said.

READ: PH waits for UN response on North Korean ship

No timeline has been released in connection with the inspection and investigation.

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“Our main concern is that we are compliant with the UN Security Council resolution; and the UN is clear in its resolution on the items that it is interested in,” Coloma said.

READ: UN imposes toughest sanctions on N. Korea

He explained that the purpose of the sanction is to restrict movement of vessels and vehicles that may be used to transport equipment and armaments banned by the UN.

An earlier report said the ship carried a cargo of palm kernel expeller, which is an ingredient for farm animal feed.

READ: N. Korean vessel carried cargo for PH importers

The UN Security Council Resolution 2270 directs all member states to inspect cargo within or transiting through their territory that is destined for or from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. RAM

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TAGS: MV Jin Teng, North Korea, port, probe, Security Council, ship, Subic, UN, United Nations
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