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U.S. Eying North Korean Ship Registry

Posted April. 15, 2006 03:08,   


The U.S. government is reportedly planning to investigate the North Korean registry of international ships and make the list public.

Diplomatic sources in Washington said, “The government recognized that some ships are in operation under loose regulations paying only registration fees to North Korea, which does not levy business taxes.”

Washington seemed to make the decision based on the possibility that the small sum of registration fees paid by the U.S. and its allies could help the communist regime maintain its status. The plan is aimed at stopping cash flow into North Korea regardless of the amount of money. Sources also said, “These ships are deep-sea fishing vessels or small freighters.”

Reportedly, on the list are about 80 ships including 10 American boats. South Korean ships are likely to be among them. The U.S. allegedly asked its allies such as South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to cancel any registrations in the North.

The Treasury Ministry stated that American citizens and businesses, as well as foreign corporate branches operating in the U.S. cannot possess or utilize ships registered in North Korea or provide those ships with insurance policies from May 8 in its amended asset management rules published on April 6.

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com