Philippines Impounds N. Korean Ship
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Philippines has impounded a North Korean vessel in line with tough new United Nations sanctions introduced in response to Pyongyang's recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests, the Philippines Government said.
Philippines presidential Spokesman Manolo Quezon told state-run radio the 6,830-ton cargo ship Jin Teng would not be allowed to leave the port northeast of the capital Manila where it has been docked for three days, and said its crew would be deported, AFP reported.
It was the first reported case of the tough new sanctions being enforced, less than a week after they were adopted by the United Nations Security Council.
"The world is concerned over North Korea's nuclear weapons program and as a member of the UN, the Philippines has to do its part to enforce the sanctions," Quezon said.
Foreign affairs Spokesman Charles Jose said a team from the UN is expected to inspect the Jin Teng in Subic port, located near a former United States naval base.
Local authorities have already inspected the Jin Teng twice.
Coastguard Spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said electronic weapons sensors were used during an inspection on Saturday, adding the 21 crewmen were "very cooperative".
North Korea is yet to comment on the situation.
According to the Philippines coastguard, there are no other North Korean ships docked in Subic port.
The Jin Teng arrived in Subic from Indonesia carrying palm kernels, just hours after the UN Security Council unanimously passed the sanctions.
In response to the sanctions, Pyongyang fired six short-range missiles into the sea, while North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered its nuclear arsenal put on standby for pre-emptive use at anytime.