North Korean ships failing safety inspections at Asian ports

SEOUL, June 29 (UPI) — Dozens of North Korean ships are under United Nations Security Council sanctions, but more than a hundred vessels affiliated with Pyongyang are being flagged in Asia for another reason: failure to pass safety checks.

Data on North Korean ships entering ports in the Asia-Pacific region indicate not one ship passed safety inspections in the past six months, Voice of America reported.

A total of 129 North Korean ships were inspected, according to the data from the Asia region’s Port State Control Committee.

Most of the North Korean ships, 90 in total, were inspected at the Chinese ports of Rizhao and Yantai. The remaining 39 were checked at Vladivostok, a port city in the Russian Far East.

Most ships were found to be missing maritime navigation safety as well as emergency systems. The vessels were also missing relevant documents and anti-pollution equipment.

The recurring violations among North Korean ships have increased scrutiny at foreign ports. On January 12 the North Korean vessel Minhae, after arriving at Rizhao, reportedly was responsible for 16 safety violations. A total of ten North Korean ships, including the Ranam-2, the Sonbong-1 and Saenal-3, have been detained at the port, according to the report.

The safety violations may be attributed to the age of the vessels.

Eight of the ten ships undergoing extensive checks are twenty years old, according to VOA.

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