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PH releases North Korean cargo ship

/ 10:31 AM March 25, 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

The Philippines has released a North Korea cargo ship it seized early this month under harsher sanctions slapped by the United Nations over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

“We had no more basis to continue to hold MV Jin Teng” as the ship had been removed from a list of 31 vessels owned by Pyongyang-based Ocan Maritime Management (OMM) banned from international ports, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Charles Jose said in a text message.

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READ: PH seizes N. Korean ship

Sources said the 6,830 deadweight ton vessel, manned by its 21 crew members, was already on its way to China.

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The ship, flying a Sierra Leone flag, was impounded after it docked on March 3 at Subic Bay, a port 135km north-west of Manila.

READ: N. Korean vessel carried cargo for PH importers

OMM was blacklisted by the UN in 2014 after one of its ships was found during an inspection in Panama to be carrying jet fighters and other Soviet-era weapons from Cuba hidden under bags of sugar.

Initial inspections showed the Jin Teng was carrying a cargo of palm-kernel expeller, an animal feed, but no suspicious materials.

The UN slapped tighter restrictions after North Korea staged its fourth detonation of a nuclear bomb on Jan. 6, and then launched a long-range rocket on Feb. 7.

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TAGS: cargo ship, MV Jin Teng, North Korea, Philippines, Subic Bay
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