Mangyongbong-92 back in Niigata

Kyodo

The North Korean ferry Mangyongbong-92 arrived Wednesday at Niigata port on its first call since the Diet enacted a law Monday to ban port calls by ships considered a security threat.

The law targets the 9,672-ton Mangyongbong-92 and other ships carrying supplies between Japan and North Korea.

Some Niigata Prefectural Assembly members protested the call at the pier, but a local group working on behalf of victims of abductions by North Korea has stopped rallies targeting the vessel. It said, however, that it could not prevent some protesters from making trouble.

Despite the enactment of the law to ban port calls, the government has ruled out invoking the sanction immediately, saying it will watch North Korea’s response to pending issues, including the abductions.

On its arrival in Niigata, the ship was carrying more than 220 passengers and 50 tons of cargo. It is scheduled to leave for North Korea’s Wonsan port Thursday morning, carrying about 220 passengers and 80 tons of cargo.