MANILA – The Philippines has released a North Korean-controlled cargo ship it seized on March 4 under U.N. sanctions after the vessel received clearance from the United Nations.
“At the policy level, there is no longer any basis to continue to hold MV Jin Teng,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in a mobile-phone message. “The United Nations Security Council has delisted the ship from the Annex of UNSC Resolution 2270,” he said, referring to a document that listed 31 vessels as assets that are controlled or operated by a North Korean company and are subject to the sanctions.
The U.N. removed the MV Jin Teng from the list of vessels that needed to be inspected after the ship was held for three weeks at Subic Port northeast of Manila and was found to have no contraband on board. The ship was released at 1:53 p.m. Thursday, Philippine coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said.
The U.N. passed the resolution to punish North Korea for a nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February. The resolution limits or bans North Korea’s exports of certain mineral resources as well as imports of small arms. It also prohibits financial institutions from opening new branches or accounts in the country, and blacklists a number of North Koreans, including officials active in Iran, Syria and Vietnam.