Four ships removed from UN sanctions

Updated: 2016-03-23 23:44

By Chen Weihua in Washington(China Daily USA)

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China confirmed on Tuesday that four ships have been removed from the list under new sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) outlined by a United Nations Security Council resolution early this month.

Hua Chunying, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, told a daily briefing in Beijing that the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee agreed that the four ships, which include Jin Teng, has nothing to do with the Ocean Maritime Management (OMM), a DPRK shipping firm known to transport arms and other illicit goods.

“So it decided to remove the ships from the sanction list under the UN Security Council Resolution 2270,” Hua said.

She said the revision was made by the committee according to the latest development. “It reflects the consensus of all parties of the UN Security Council and conforms to the committee’s rules of procedure,” she said.

According to a Reuters report on Tuesday, the ships were among a total of 31 vessels sanctioned by the 15-member Security Council on March 2 because of their linkage to OMM.

“We discovered that they are not OMM ships,” Reuters quoted China’s Permanent Representative to the UN Liu Jieyi as saying.

“The basis for the listing of the ships is basically that they belong to OMM, so if you make a mistake, then you correct the mistake,” Liu told Reuters.

Reuters also quoted a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying that the Security Council committee on DPRK sanctions agreed to the request after China secured written commitments the four vessels would no longer use DPRK crews.

Jin Teng was a cargo ship detained by the Philippines days after the sanctions took effect.

China has supported the UN Security Council Resolution 2270. It has also expressed that sanctions are not the goals and called for resumption of dialogues.

China has put forward a parallel approach for the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapon program while at the same time for the US and South Korea to agree to sign a peace treaty to replace the 1953 armistice agreement.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi believes such an approach has rightly addressed the legitimate concerns of all parties.

China is deeply concerned over the possible escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula, where the DPRK has continued to launch missiles while the US and South Korea are conducting largest ever military exercises. This year the annual military exercises involve more than 17,000 American and 300,000 South Korean troops.

"We are concerned about the current situation on the peninsula. We hope that the DPRK would not do anything that violates the UN Security Council resolutions, and hope that relevant parties would keep calm and exercise restraint and avoid taking any action that may escalate rivalry and tensions," Hua, the spokeswoman, said on Monday after DPRK launched several missiles into the sea.