Amid growing hostilities, the Philippines has impounded a North Korean cargo ship.
The boat was seized following tough new UN sanctions introduced as a response to North Korea’s recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
Speaking on state run radio on Saturday, the Presidential spokesman Manolo Quezon said that the 6,830-tonne vessel, Jin Teng ,would not be allowed to leave Subic port, north-east of the capital Manila, where it had been docked for three days.
He also said the boats crew would be deported.
The Guardian reports:
It was the first reported case of the sanctions – the toughest to date, which were adopted late on Wednesday by the UN security council – being enforced.
“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.
A team from the UN is expected to inspect the ship in the port, located near a former United States naval base, foreign affairs spokesman Charles Jose said.
The Jin Teng was inspected for the second time on Saturday, this time using electronic weapons sensors, coastguard spokesman commander Armand Balilo said , adding the 21 crewmen were “very cooperative”.
North Korea has no embassy in the Philippines. Its embassies in Thailand and Indonesia were unavailable for comment.
There are no other North Korean ships docked in Subic, according to the coastguard.
The Jin Teng, carrying palm kernels, arrived in Subic from Palembang, Indonesia on Thursday afternoon, just hours after the latest sanctions were unanimously passed.
In response to the UN’s move, Pyongyang fired six short-range missiles into the sea on Thursday, whileleader Kim Jong-Un ordered its nuclear arsenal to be put on standby for pre-emptive use at any time.